[2015] Alyssa Miles: Little Women

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[2015] Alyssa Miles: Little Women

Little Women

SettingLittle Women took place in America, sometime during the Civil War. Any information on the exact years this story covered is unmentioned in the book, but it is assumed to have happened sometime during the early 1860's. The exact location where this story unfolded is not given, though it does have the atmosphere of Eastern America during that time period.Many of the characters stay in the same place throughout the story, and there are no dramatic or permanent changes in location, with the exception of one character who moves homes after she is married. Unfortunately, the father of the four main characters was gone for a large portion of the story, fighting in the Civil War, causing much pain and loneliness to the family of five he left behind. "She didn't say "perhaps never," but each silently thought of Father far away, where the fighting was." (1).

CharactersLittle Women describes the separate stories of four sisters, but it definitely focuses more on one of the sisters, Jo. Jo was a plain girl, with little features of beauty besides her long brown hair. Yet, she was one of the most strong-willed of the sisters, the most determined, and also the kindest. It was Jo who tended to her little sister Beth when she fell ill and it was Jo who refused to leave her bedside when the final days came near. As rash, bold, and unpredictable Jo could be, she had a softer side that rarely expresses. She always followed her heart no matter how much tribulation that action brought her. She was a writer, with dreams of becoming rich and accomplished through her works. She said herself, '"Poor dear, just wait till I make my fortune, and you shall revel in carriages and ice cream and high-heeled slippers."' (22) Her passion for books and pieces of literature was often misunderstood by others, yet she did not give up and eventually discovered that the greatest stories come from the heart.In the beginning, Jo was overflowing with hope. She was straightforward, unafraid of people and filled with dreams of future successes. Being 16 years old, Jo had little fear of what was held in the future. She didn't care for the riches of the world, but dwelled constantly in her own mind and did what was asked of her to support her family. However, she gradually grows in maturity and grace, eventually gaining a better perspective of herself and the world. She stops searching for ways to use her art to get money or fame, which eventually caused, "her father sent it, much against her will...and to her utter surprise...others requested it." (226) Overall, she was probably the hardest to decipher out of all the sisters, existing in a world all her own as many writers still do.

6 WordsA family's journey through the years.4.5 out of 5 starsThere were a couple slow spots, but the writing style definitely suited the time period in which these characters lived. It was an interesting, very realistic story that captures the reader.

Thematic ConectionI think that the general theme of the story is that not all of your dreams will be accomplished, not all of your wishes will be fulfilled, but you can still find joy and hope in the future. For all of the March sisters, life did not end up as they had predicted, yet they discovered more love and happiness in their lives than they ever previously imagined. Jo says in hindsight, '"I don't think I ever ought to call myself 'Unlucky Jo' again, when my greatest wish has been so beautifully gratified.'"(247).


Written by Louisa May Alcott

Alyssa MilesPeriod 711/25/2015


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