Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March, are part of a poor but loving family.
Development history[ edit ] InThomas Niles, the publisher of Louisa May Alcott, recommended that she write a book about girls that would have widespread appeal. Niles pressed her to write the girls' book first, and he was aided by her father Amos Bronson Alcottwho also urged her to do so.
I said I'd try. But Niles' niece Lillie Almy read them and said she enjoyed them. Alcott wrote, "they are the best critics, so I should definitely be satisfied. Each of the March sister heroines had a harrowing experience that alerted her and the reader that "childhood innocence" was of the past, and that "the inescapable woman problem" was all that remained.
Having lost all his money, their father is acting as a pastormiles from home, involved in the American Civil War. The women face their first Christmas without him. Meg and Jo March, the elder two, have to work in order to support the family: Meg teaches a nearby family of four children; Jo assists her aged great-aunt March, a wealthy widow living in a mansionPlumfield.
Beth, too timid for school is content to stay at home and help with housework; Amy is still at school. Meg is beautiful and traditional, Jo is a tomboy who writes; Beth is a peacemaker and a pianist; Amy is an artist who longs for elegance and fine society.
Jo is impulsive and quick to anger. One of her challenges is trying to control her anger, a challenge that her mother experiences. She advises Jo to speak with forethought before leaving to travel to Washingtonwhere her husband has pneumonia.
Their neighbour, Mr Laurence, who is charmed by Beth, gives her a piano. Beth contracts scarlet fever after spending time with a poor family where three children die. Jo tends Beth in her illness. Beth recovers, but never fully. As a precaution, Amy is sent to live with Aunt March, replacing Jo, while Beth was ill and still infectious.
Jo has success earning money with her writing. Meg spends two weeks with friends, where there are parties for the girls to dance with boys and improve social skills. Theodore 'Laurie' Laurence, Mr. Laurence's grandson, is invited to one of the dances, as her friends incorrectly think Meg is in love with him.
Meg is more interested in John Brooke, Laurie's young tutor. Brooke goes to Washington to help Mr. While with the March parents, Brooke confesses his love for Meg. They are pleased but consider Meg too young to be married.
Brooke agrees to wait but enlists and serves a year or so in the war. After he is wounded, he returns to find work so he can buy a house ready for when he marries Meg.
Laurie goes off to college, having become smitten by Jo. On Christmas Day, a year after the book's opening, the girls' father returns from the war. When they have twins, Meg is a devoted mother but John begins to feel left out.
Laurie graduates from college, having put in effort to do well in his last year with Jo's prompting. He realises that he has fallen in love with Jo. Sensing his feelings, Jo confides in Marmee, telling her that she loves Laurie but as she would love a brother and that she could not love him romantically.
Laurie proposes marriage to her and she turns him down. Jo decides she needs a break, and spends six months with a friend of her mother in New York City, serving as governess for her two children. The family runs a boarding house.Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (Oxford World's Classics) Four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March, are part of a poor but loving family.
With their father off to war they have only their mother. Louisa May Alcott was encouraged to retain copyright by the editor of Little Women. This made a huge difference in the amount of money that she received.
This made a huge difference in the amount of money that she received. With Little Women, Louisa was able to pay off her family's debts and gain the respect of the world.
When Bronson lectured, he was now introduced as the father of Louisa May Alcott. When Bronson lectured, he was now introduced as the father of Louisa May Alcott. Louisa May Alcott is best known for Little Women () and the seven novels that followed in the “Little Women” series. Like in the novel, Alcott is the second of four .
Free Study Guide: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Previous Page | Table of Contents | Next Page Downloadable / Printable Version FREE LITERARY ANALYSIS OF: LITTLE WOMEN OVERALL ANALYSIS CHARACTER ANALYSIS Major Characters Marmee (Mrs. March) Mrs. March is a flat character in the story although she is a major one.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott on Amazon An immediate success The book truly was an overnight success, wildly exceeding expectations of both the author and publisher, and seemed to all but assure the financial success of most if not all her subsequent works, with a public hungry for any work in the style that became her stock in trade.