Title: Little Women
Author: Louisa May Alcott
The novel was first published in 1868 and is loosely based on the author’s own life. I have read a few classics before and I immensely enjoyed reading this book as well and found the writing style quite beautiful.
‘Little Women’ revolves around four sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, who despite living in acute poverty and struggling with everyday work find ways to keep themselves happy and entertained. They would write plays and dress up to perform in front of their family, friends and neighbours. The girls also ran a little club of their own and wrote newsletters and reports that were addressed at the weekly meetings. Each of them built their own ‘castle in the air’ which differs from one another based on their own imaginings and views of the world. I was left inspired by the strong emotions that ‘Little Women’ excel at, be it
Meg’s devotion –
“Tomorrow I shall put away my “fuss and feathers” and be desperately good again.”
Jo’s ambition –
“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
Beth’s kindness –
“There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”
or Amy’s self-expression –
“You laugh at me when I say I want to be a lady, but I mean a true gentlewoman in mind and manners, and I try to do it as far as I know how.”
Nevertheless, the ending of the book was a slight disappointment for me, even though it might be quite appealing to a lot of readers.
Even two decades into the 21st century, we don’t come across as many books as there should be like ‘Little Women’ that are highly women-centric with the male characters playing only secondary and tertiary roles. I can think of quite a few reasons why this book still finds relevance in today’s time and would recommend it to everyone to read it.