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Louisa May Alcott and Her Work Essay

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Louisa May Alcott and Her Work

 
   Louisa May Alcott was a great writer of her time and is the perfect example of

how mixed messages during the American Renaissance affected the lives of young

women everywhere. In the book Little Women Louisa gives Marmee the appearance

and attitudes of her own mother, Abba Alcott. Her mother once wrote women should

assert their, "right to think, feel, and live individually·be something in

yourself." In contrast, Louisaâs father, Bronson Alcott, felt that Louisa was

more of a challenge because she was willful like her mother and should be taught

to control her impulses. The American Renaissance had a profound effect on

Bronson Alcottâs educational theories and this in turn affected the life and

writingâs of his daughter Louisa May Alcott.

 

Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832 to Bronson and Abba Alcott. Abba Alcott was

the daughter of Colonel Joseph May who was a supporter of womenâs rights and

abolition. Louisa was somewhat spirited, and she came by it naturally, so her

father blamed her mother for this. Her father was a transcendentalist, and he

believed that his lighter coloring betokened a deeper spirituality and closer

connection to divinity (Saxton 205). Bronson felt Louisa could not control

herself because she was born with dark hair like her mother. He referred to her

as the "possessed one" "pathetic" and "bound in chains·which she could not

break"(Sanderson 43). This somewhat clashed with his other belief that children

were considered blank slates, or tablulae rasae. This theory simply states that

the mind is in its hypothetical primary blank or empty state befo...


... middle of paper ...


...ffered her much time to think about schooling

and childrearing. So her book Little Women is almost an autobiographical account

of her own life as well as a critical study of characters and events during the

American Renaissance period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited:

 

Alcott,Louisa May. Little Women. New York: Signet, 1983.

 

Elbert,Sarah, A Hunger for Home: Louisa May Alcott and Little Women

(Philadelphia: Temple,1984), 86.

 

Russett, Cynthia Eagle. Sexual Science: The Victorian Construction of Womanhood.

Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1989.

 

Sanderson, Rena. "A Modern Mephistopheles: Louisa May Alcottâs Exorcism of

Patriarchy." American Transcendental Quarterly 5 (1991): 41-55.

 

Saxton, Martha. Louisa May Alcott:A Modern Biography. New York: Noonday Press,

1995.


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