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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. Through the characters of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott illustrates her struggle as a woman writer in a male dominated society.
Jo March, the protagonist of Little Women, has a similar childhood to Louisa May Alcott. “Jo is the perfect part for Louisa to play” (Carter). Louisa uses these resemblances as a foundation to show her aspirations as a writer. The family characteristics, the setting of the novel, and the attitudes and desires of both Jo and Louisa are rather parallel. First of all, Louisa lived in Concord, Massachusetts with her parents and three sisters, like her protagonist Jo and her family. She began writing at a young age and wrote in a journal daily. She used this journal to depict her childhood experiences, which she later used to create stories and novels. Several of these adventures from Louisa’s childhood are continued in the novel, Little Women. Because of their supportive families, both women started writing at an early age. “Alcott illustrates Christian virtues, especially unselfishness, fortitude, faith, and charity, in the context of family and friendships” (Morrow). They share a passion for literature and writing, and struggle to help their families overcome poverty.
Little Women has similar characters and themes that can be seen throughout Louisa’s life. “Many of the characters in Little Women are modeled on Alcott’s own family and friends. She portrays herself as the hot- tempered, but good-hearted tomboy Jo, who turns her melodrama into a means for financial support” (Morrow). First of all, Louisa’s sisters inspire the main characters in the novel. “Her elder sister Anna, was transformed into Jo’s elder sister, Meg, whose greatest joy is domestic life, but who is surely challenged by her envy of wealthier girls. Lizzy was Beth, who both died. And Amy is the youngest of the sisters and is recollection of Louisa’s baby sister May” (Morrow). In Little Women, the story is created around four sisters and their experiences while growing up in the early 19th century. “To Louisa, Jo offered certain theatrical advantages. She didn’t need to invent the plays the March girls put on in the parlor. Those were genuine melodramas from her own childhood” (Carter). Louisa portrays her childhood through literature.
Jo March, the heroine in Little Women, is quite different from her three sisters. In the novel, Jo is portrayed as this masculine and adventurous means of thinking and acting, unlike her sisters’ proper lady behavior that society expects of women. Because her father is always away at...

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