Little Women

Little Women: An Approach to Class, Society, and Money 11th Grade

The 1868 novel Little Women is not only a heartwarming and heartbreaking story set in the midst of the Civil War, but also a series of veiled narratives of the life of the author, Louisa May Alcott. The story coincides with many of the economic and social struggles that Alcott faced throughout her life, and raises the importance of concepts such as sisterhood and familial bonds, concepts that the main character, Jo March, learns of throughout the journey of her life. Alcott’s father, once a wealthy man, decided to move his family out of their wealthy community and lavish lifestyle, giving away almost all their money and leaving the Alcott mother and sisters in poverty (Nancy Porter Productions). Thus began the circumstances which gave Alcott the basis for all the social and financial hardship present in her novel. One common theme derived from these circumstances, and continually demonstrated in the book, is the idea that genuine happiness cannot be obtained through monetary security or class ranking, but through strong underlying family ties and moral values.

One simple way that this theme is illustrated throughout the novel is through the different characters of the four March sisters, and their different reactions to...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1190 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9202 literature essays, 2398 sample college application essays, 405 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in