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Little Women: Review and Impact on the Women’s Rights

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It is a non non-fiction book which was written for young people, especially for girls. It is about four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March which are part of a poor loving family, with their father off to war. They have only their mother left to encourage them to be the best version of themselves at all times. The book is about friendship, family, love and family respect.

As the girls grow older, each faces her own personal demons and moral challenges.

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Jo is a tomboy tupetype of person, she must tame her tomboyish ways and learn to be more ladylike while developing his writing skills to be a great writer. Jo has a hard time with Aunt March because the old woman is very critical of her. She forces Jo to read dull books aloud, but as soon as she drops off to sleep, Jo switches to more interesting ones.Meg, the oldest, must put aside her love of wealth and finery in order to follow her heart. Meg is a governess for their wealthy relative, Aunt MarchAunt March is visiting and insists that Meg must marry well, so she can help her family. But Marmee wants her girls to marry for love, not money.The two younger sisters of the family are Beth and Amy.

Beth, is fragile and very sweet,but shy. She is a very optimistic and gentle girl with bright eyes, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression. Beth is too shy to attend school and is taught at home.Amy, the youngest, would love to have much money and envies people who do, but she tries to be good. Amy attends school but the teacher is very strict.The girls are guided in their personal growth by their mother, ‘Marmee,’ and by their religious faith. During the story March girls become close friends with their wealthy neighbor, Teodore Laurence, known as “Laurie”. Laurie become best friends and soon he is the brother the March sister never had.

The situation becomes more complicated when family March received a telegram with grim news, Mr March is gravely ill in hospital. Marmee must go to him. While Marmee is away, Beth falls ill with scarlet fever. Meg and Jo care for Beth as best they can, but she doesn’t really improve until her mother arrives. On Christmas Eve, Beth is allowed downstairs for the first time and Mr. March returns home. Mr. Laurence gives Beth the piano that belonged to his own daughter, who died many years earlier. Beth is now a semi-invalid. She tires easily but never complains.The family’s tight bonds are forever changed when Meg falls in love with John Brooke, Laurie’s tutor. Meg and John marry and begin a home of their own.

Another marriage seems imminent when Laurie reveals to Jo that he has fallen in love with her, but she declares that she cannot care for him in the same way. He proposes marriage, which she refuses because she doesn’t think they are suited to each other. After an emotional scene, Laurie stalks off.When Aunt March announces she is taking Amy to Europe with her, Jo is heartbroken. Marmee suggests her to leave and take a job away from home.

Jo goes to New York as the governess for a family friend, Mrs. Kirke, experiencing the big city and trying her hand as a professional writer. Her charges are the children of a boarding house owner. She meets Fritz Bhaer, a professor from Germany who is raising his two nephews. He is much older than Jo. When he discovers that she loves music, he invites her to an opera. He can’t afford tickets but the stage manager is a friend of his and gives them seats backstage. Jo confides in Mr. Bhaer that she is selling her stories to magazines and newspapers of suspicious repute. He is alarmed by this and urges her to stop. But the pay is good and Jo is able to send money home for Beth’s medical care. Mr. Bhaer reads one of her stories and pronounces it terrible. Jo is hurt and offended. Before she can confront him, she receives a telegram. Beth is very ill and won’t live much longer. Jo instantly sets out for home. On arriving home, Jo discovers that Meg is several months’ pregnant. When asked why she didn’t write to Jo with the news, Meg replies primly that she doesn’t speak of such things. Jo takes care of Beth until her death. The family is devastated, especially since there was no time to send for Amy.

Each chapter is more exciting than the last one, but if I have to choose one this is when in France Amy meets Laurie and they fall in love. At the same time Jo is regretting having refused Laurie’s proposal and when she writes a letter for Laurie with the news of Beth’s death and ask him to come home, Laurie only read first few lines before rushing off to be with Amy. After all this Jo begins writing a novel based on her family. She titles it ‘My Beth’ and sends it to Professor Bhaer. He in turns sends it to a publisher, who accepts it. Jo is ecstatic and can’t wait for Laurie to return home so she can tell him the good news. But when he arrives, he brings a wife – Amy! Jo tries to cover her shock as the two explain that they were married several weeks earlier. After a while she realizes it is right and is able to congratulate them. Aunt March dies and leaves Jo her estate consisting of a large house and several acres. Jo decides to open a school for orphans.

Professor Bhaer unexpectedly arrives during a family get-together. He thinks Jo and Laurie are married but is relieved when Jo explains that is not the case. In a few weeks he is leaving for the west to accept a position at a college. Impulsively he proposes to Jo and she accepts. I think that she turned down Laurie and married with the professor Friedrerich because she did not want to give up her independence for him.

The book ends with marriage of Jo and Professor Bhaer and they start a boarding school for boys, while Amy and Laurie marry and use the Laurence family wealth to support struggling young artists. The Brooke, Bhaer, and Laurence households flourish, and the book ends with a birthday party for Marmee, celebrating the extended March family connections and the progress of Jo’s boarding school.

This book is one of my favorites from now, the writing is thorough, it has a lot of detail in it. The characters are simple and their life is ordinary and this is a very good thing because when the people read they can understand book and its content. It gave you a sense of what it was like to be a normal family in the 1800’s and subtly showed the feelings of each character.

In my opinion this book should be read by 14+ years old because it is a motivational book, especially for young girls who form their character and make plans for the future. Everyone will find something to appreciate in this book because it is a very good guide for everybody who think that if you are poor you can do nothing.

Little Women have a impact on the women’s rights movement, and the message it gives about women’s rights is one of my favorite things.

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