"March" Essay

758 words - 3 pages

One of the most well-known American Literary Classics is “Little Woman”. Louisa May Alcott’s stirring tale about hardship, loss, and coming of age is appealing to girls and women alike. In an homage to this classic story, Geraldine Brooks gives us “March”. Written for an older crowd, “March” is the harrowing account of Mr. March, the father and wife of the protagonists in “Little Women”. The companion novel details his adventures in the South, and the events that lead to him joining the Union Army in his 40’s. Mr. March is a multi-faceted man, with a head for teaching. However, the once innocent, well-meaning and naïve man who volunteered to be a chaplain in the Union forces was scarred beyond recovery by what he saw during his tour of duty. Throughout the book, he learns and changes from the person that he once was. Facilitators of this transformation include Silas Stone, Zannah the former slave, and his wife, Marmee. For better or for worse, they each changed Mr. Marsh and the way he thought about the world.
When the book opens, Mr. March and his company are being forced to retreat back over the Potomac River after the confederates launched an attack on their makeshift hospital. Mr. March’s friend, Silas, is shot as they make their way across the river. Mr. March isn’t able to keep a hold on him because of his thrashing, and eventually lets him go. Stone was one of the first friends Mr. March made in the army, and losing him was a blow to Mr. Marsh’s self-esteem. This was the first time that Mr. March had to come to terms with the fact that war didn’t discriminate on whom it took, and that he would have to deal with the losses that everyone else felt. Loss is a prominent motif in the novel, and sadly, Stone is not the only friend Mr. March loses.
Later on in the war, after the Union army has pushed their way into confederate Virginia, Mr. March is asked to stay and work with former slaves on their old plantation. However, the farm is raided by guerilla confederate soldiers who seize the...

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