Analysis Of Little Women By Louisa May Alcott

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The connotation of the word “little” in Louisa May Alcott’s infamous novel, Little Women, has been a very controversial topic. Many critics argue the point that “little” has a negative connotation that diminishes women and therefore Alcott’s book is encouraging women to become little. While others argue that the word “little” refers to the physical miniaturization which still includes the same good qualities of an ideal woman (Armstrong, Here Little 453). Although these viewpoints may be valid in some instances throughout the book, they are not valid for the whole book. I assert that the connotation for the word “Little” changes from being negative to good, depending on the context it is used in, throughout the book and does diminish women but through the characters’ struggles, Alcott shows how women overcome that title and grow to a women with all of the good qualities in a perfect woman. The connotation of “little” changes with the context it is used in, because some characters in the book use it affectionately while others use it to diminish the young ladies. For example, at the beginning of the novel the March sisters’ father sends them a letter in which he calls them little women (Alcott, Little Women 15). The context in which little women is used by the father is an affectionate adjective to…show more content…
However in this novel, the connotation of “little” is determined by the situation it is used, depending on whether the situation celebrates the object’s impact or compares the object to society based ideals. By using “little,” Alcott is trying to disprove the age old beliefs of
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