Little Women is loosely based on May Alcott’s own family life; made obvious from the affectionate tone that she uses to describe her characters. Each sister's personal struggles are described with devoted detail, as though the narrator sympathizes with every conflict the characters bare. Sometimes the narrator even goes to great lengths to explain the context of the conflict and why they react to things the way that they do. For example, when Mr. Davis, Amy’s teacher whips hers on her hand for bringing pickled limes to school, she grows paranoid of the situation and so do all her sisters. Marmee even pulls her out of the school. To us, all thit seems quite extreme. But the narrator really wants us to understand why they reacted so strongly:
"To others it might seem a ludicrous or trivial ...
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... "little tripping maids" is no reason that they can't follow "saintly feet" and go on a deep spiritual journey through life. This passage contains guidelines for what the story is supposed to do. Unlike novels that are meant only to entertain their readers, Little Women is also meant to chaperon readers toward their own self-improvement and salvation.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott has greatly enriched my understanding, as a reader, about poverty, salvation, religion and most importantly, the transformation of young girls into strong women. The book is impressively written, displaying a combination of symbolism, characters that are hard not to adore and hints of important American history. This novel is crafted with a loving tone. At the end of the novel, the little women had grown and I, as a reader was compelled to read on about their lives as they continued.
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