Louisa May Alcott, the American author has written a novel “Little Women “based on her own childhood experience in two volumes. It is the chronicles of the lives of four sisters named Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. The story depicts the experience of growing up in New England during the civil war, the hard lessons of poverty, illness, death, courtships and marriage.
Meg, the eldest of the sisters is a mature woman who loves to live the social life of a butterfly with richness and happiness but destined to poverty due to their family state. Jo is the second eldest in the family and the focal character of the novel. She is down to earth woman and dreams to become a writer. Her only problem is her quick temper which leads her to many problems along with her sisters and her best friend Laurie , the rich grandson of Mr.Lawrence , their neighbour who happens to propose her and been turned down by Jo.
When Meg gets married to Laurie’s teacher Brooke who happens to fall for her from the time they met, Jo was full of disappointment. Among all her sisters, she was adamant to get into love and settle in her life until she loses her younger sister Beth.
Beth, the youngest character was less shown in the novel and only thing that has been said was her love for music and how close is she to Jo when compared to her other sisters.
“To Jo alone did the shy child tell her thoughts, and over her big harum-scarum sister Beth unconsciously exercised more influence than anyone in the family.
There are many Beth’s 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.”
Amy the third in row is pretty and a self-centred woman who only aims was to become rich. She quits her education half way and follows the path of her artistic pursuits with her wealthy aunt in London. Soon, she learns to conduct herself with class and makes friends among the wealthy. After an unexpected romance with Laurie whom she meets in London again , she finally agrees to marry Laurie who promises to offer the comforts of life to the surprise of her sister Jo back at home .
After being deprived of love and feeling all alone near the end of the novel, Jo finds condolence and love from Professor Bhaer, a German professor who has encouraged Jo to pursue her passion of serious writing instead of short notes in news tabloids. Like many readers, I get attracted to Jo’s strong character and felt sorry when she struggles to find her dreams and love .
Mrs. March, the mom of the four sisters is full of wisdom and offers advice to her children when and where they needed.
The two volumes of the novels clearly tell a life of growing up and settling of the four sisters who discover ways to share their possessions and their individual talent. The book has all that can be related to a woman, the joys and mishaps as a young wife and mother by Meg, a struggling writer Jo, a fighter Beth and Amy pursing her artistic skills. The romance, dejection, friendship and family relationship makes a whole package of the satisfying read.