Little Women

Marriage Over Materialism: Meg's Transition into Adulthood College

The influential 19th century novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott expresses didactic tendencies, as well as qualities of sentimentalism, allowing it to be a compelling read for adolescent audiences. Following the story of the March sisters, readers track the growth and maturity of Alcott’s characters. Our first experience of the transition into adulthood being the oldest March sister, Meg. In this paper, we will study the text of Meg’s early stages of her marriage to Mr. Brooke to see her transition into the adult world catalyzed by her own marriage which is used as a showcase of her maturity and growth, leading to her becoming a mother, the ultimate sign of her entering adulthood.

As we are told throughout the novel, one of Meg’s more definitive qualities is one of vanity and materialism, supported by her wish to marry into a wealthy family and name. However, as she falls in love with the poor, orphaned Mr. Brooke, Meg chooses love over financial status, and enters her marriage in such a way, described on her wedding day as such: “Neither silk, lace, nor orange flowers would she have. ‘I don’t want to look strange or fixed up today,’ she said. ‘I don’t want a fashionable wedding, but only those about me whom I love, and to...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1190 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9197 literature essays, 2397 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