This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Biography Of Louisa May Alcott Essay

1381 words - 6 pages

Biography of Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott, an educator and philosopher, and Abigail May, the energetic, philanthropist. Louisa grew up in Concord and Boston, suffering from poverty as a result of her selfish idealist father's inability to support his family. Bronson Alcott habitually sacrificed his wife and daughters by refusing to compromise with a venal world, most conspicuously when he subjected them to an experiment in ascetic communal living at Fruitlands farm in 1843. However, the Alcotts' intellectual environment was rich and stimulating: Louisa's parents assidously encouraged her writing, and her friends included leaders in abolition and women's rights, including the Transcendental philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau. Louisa took nature walks with Thoreau and had the run of Emerson's library.

By the time she had reached her teens, she felt a responsibility to help her mother and older sister provide for the family. She taught, sewed, worked as a domestic and a companion, and wrote fairy tales and romantic thrillers. When the Civil War broke out, she was eager to participate, animated by her dislike of female passivity as well as her hatred of slavery. She enlisted as a nurse ans served for three weeks in an army hospital in Washington, D.C., until she contracted typhoid fever. She was treated with mercury, which permanently undermined her health. The experience did, however, provide material for her Hospital Sketches, which vividly combines heartbreaking pathos in death of a gental, stoical blacksmith, indignation at male official callousness and mismanagement, and humorous self-portrayal as the warmhearted, hot- tempered, down-to-earth Nurse Tribulation Periwinkle. In that year, she proudly recorded in her journal, she earned almost $600 "by my writing alone," of which she "spent less than a hundred" for herself. From then on, she provided the major financial support for her family, while remaining obligated to help them with the heavy housework and nurse them when ill. She never married.

Later on, a publisher approached Louisa to do a girls' book, she accepted the offer only because she needed the money. The result was Little Women , one of the bestsellers of all time. Within four years it had sold 82,000 copies. The Marches are an idealized re-creation of her own family, with Bronson kept discreetly offstage: Abba May appears as warm, capable Marmee, who keeps the family together; Louisa as the hot-tempered writer Jo, and her sisters as well-conducted Meg, saintly Beth, and selfish Amy. Through fresh and honest obsevation, Alcott re-creates female adolescent experience that we recognize as authentic even today and makes it interesting and significant. She sucessfully turns into adventures such ordinary events as playacting, humiliations at school, laziness about doing minor housework, and...

Find Another Essay On Biography of Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott: Daughter, Author, and Transcendentalist

1001 words - 4 pages While Louisa May Alcott is most often identified as an author, she also was a dedicated daughter and sister, a Transcendentalist, and an inspiration. Part of the reason that Louisa May Alcott stands out is because of her interesting family, career, and medical history. Born on November 29, 1832 to Bronson Alcott and Abigail May in Germantown, Pennsylvania, Louisa May Alcott was brought up in an unconventional home. For most of her life

Louisa May Alcott and Her Work

1555 words - 6 pages :   Alcott,Louisa May. Little Women. New York: Signet, 1983.   Elbert,Sarah, A Hunger for Home: Louisa May Alcott and Little Women (Philadelphia: Temple,1984), 86.   Russett, Cynthia Eagle. Sexual Science: The Victorian Construction of Womanhood. Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1989.   Sanderson, Rena. "A Modern Mephistopheles: Louisa May Alcottâs Exorcism of Patriarchy." American Transcendental Quarterly 5 (1991): 41-55.   Saxton, Martha. Louisa May Alcott:A Modern Biography. New York: Noonday Press, 1995.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

1209 words - 5 pages Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, was published in 1868 and follows the lives, loves, and troubles of the four March sisters growing up during the American Civil War.1 The novel is loosely based on childhood experiences Alcott shared with her own sisters, Anna, May, and Elizabeth, who provided the hearts of the novel’s main characters.2 The March sisters illustrate the difficulties of girls growing up in a world that holds certain expectations

My Kingdom by Louisa May Alcott

656 words - 3 pages “My Kingdom” was a poem written by Louisa May Alcott in the mid-1800s. It illustrates her personal battles as well as resonating with an audience of modern day. The subject, theme, and meaning of this piece will be discussed in this essay, along with a brief biography of the author. Louisa May Alcott is an American poet born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Her education came from her father until she turned sixteen. In

Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson

2232 words - 9 pages Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson were similar in many ways. They both grew up in poor households during the eighteenth century and were widely published and well-known writers as well as transcendentalists. However, Emerson never had to use a pen name like Alcott’s “A. M. Barnard” in order to be respected, and he was able to attend Harvard College to further his education. His writing would always be regarded more highly than that of

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

1462 words - 6 pages Little Women by Louisa May Alcott This book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It in a town in New England in the 1800’s. It about a family and the girls growing up during the 1800’s and the things they have to face. The growing pains that all girls have to go through even now. This was a very sad book at the end when Beth dies. The four main characters are Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth the story centers around the four girls and the life

A View of Women in the Writings of Louisa May Alcott

2221 words - 9 pages Born in 1832 to Bronson and Abba Alcott, Louisa May Alcott constantly struggled with the anger and individualistic, unladylike spirit that came naturally to her. Since Louisa, like her mother, was born dark-haired and "willful," her father viewed her as a challenge, sometimes going so far as to call her the "Possessed One" "pathetic," and "bound in chains . . . which she could not break"(Stern, Biography, p. 78). He thought that teaching Louisa

Rhetorical analysis of "Death of a Soldier" by Louisa May Alcott

596 words - 2 pages The excerpt "Death of a Soldier," taken from Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott features various rhetorical strategies to create an appeal to emotion. She exhibits the compassion of the nurse for John, even in the face of inevitable death; she displays the altruistic mindset of John, and adds depth to her words by using analogies. She uses these tools in order to inflict a deep emotional feeling and an understanding of how awful the

Louisa May Alcott: Little Women in a Man's World

2438 words - 10 pages Louisa May Alcott shows a great deal of herself throughout the novel, Little Women. She shows many parallelisms between the fictional character Jo and Louisa May Alcott. The novel is an example of their similar personalities, appearances, and life experiences. Louisa was very dramatic and comical throughout her life time. Jo March is the perfect character for Louisa to portray. She exemplifies how life was during the 19th century in America

Angel in the House: Gladys in "A Modern Mephistopheles" by Louisa May Alcott

1579 words - 6 pages In 1877, Louisa May Alcott went to Boston's Bellevue Hotel for a few weeks to write A Modern Mephistopheles, a gothic thriller that was a major change from Little Women and her other youth books that Alcott called "moral pap for the young" (Strickland, 1). A Modern Mephistopheles is the story of nineteen year old Felix Canaris, a poet on the brink of starvation, until Jasper Helwyze helps him. Helwyze promised Felix fame and fortune in

Comparing Persuasion by Jane Austen and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

1116 words - 4 pages Both Persuasion by jane Austen and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott tell stories of families of sisters in the nineteenth-century in England and in America. The former is the story of Anne Elliot who had given up Fredrick Wentworth eight years prior to the novel's setting after she was "persuaded" to do so by her old family friend, Lady Russell. Realizing that she has made a terribe mistake once Fredrick returns, wealthier and more

Similar Essays

Louisa May Alcott Essay

777 words - 3 pages was also the first woman ever in Concord to register to vote in the Village's School Committee Election, showing she was active in the women's suffrage movement. Louisa May Alcott is one of the most wonderful realist in the world and her legacy lives on. I believe that she would love to see that.Works Cited1 source: Encarta Encyclopediawww.encarta.msn.com2 source: Biography and works of Louisa May Alcottwww.online-literature.com3 source: Biography of Louisa May Alcottwww.emipirezine.comBy Nancy Imelda Schafer, all info was obtained at theCamden County Free Library4 source: Writers for Young AdultsVolume 1Ted Hipple - editorBy Rosemary Oliphant InghamLouisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott Essay

1017 words - 5 pages From poverty to stardom Louisa May Alcott has thrived through many trials and tribulations, but with her unremitting passion and determination, Alcott became a well-known author and role model. Alcott experienced many setbacks in her life. With these setbacks, she was able to create stories that portrayed her life experiences. Alcott’s writings captured the hearts of young children to grown adults. Although she lived for only fifty-five years

Little Women: Louisa May Alcott Essay

2694 words - 11 pages ISU PHASE II:Uncovering the Women of the mid-1800sSze YinnOctober 2, 2014.ENG3UMiss Frei.Authors are often inspired by what they see, think and fear before they can write a noble book. Through writing, authors express what they feel about the things that happen around the world. By writing their feelings, thoughts and experiences on paper, authors express their emotions and convey a message to the readers. The Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Analysis Of Louisa May Alcott´S Behind A Mask

1146 words - 5 pages Behind a Mask is a book that demonstrates the power a woman possesses. During a time in which those who are not rich are considered mere human beings, Louisa May Alcott creates a character by the name of Jean Muir who surpasses the society she lives in. Muir is a woman who seeks to have a prestigious title that will give her the recognition she desires. As governess to the Coventry family Muir puts in play a plan to marry Sir John, the old uncle