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ENGB35H3 Lecture Notes - John Locke, These Girls, Bildungsroman

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Pouneh Saeedi

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ENGB35 Little Women 1
18th c, private/domestic sphere (women)
o Not about leaving home, but about staying home
o Or desire to find a home
o Completely different from Crusoe
o When Jo and Meg talk about going on adventures
Dancing and going to tea next door
Rather than finding treasure
Published in 1868, second part published after, and the two were bounded together
Very popular and praised from the get-go
o A straightforward, moral book
o Fictional sermon that will enlighten the little girls that read it
In line with teachings of female domesticity
Never far from the surface of the book
Hitting you in the head with the point
Puritan framework:
o ICR: moral female child
o Much stronger in American culture than European culture
o Book written 150 years after Crusoe was written
o Pilgrim‟s Progress provides moral structure for the book
Adult books, suitable for children
Allegory in which the main character Christian, takes up burden, leaves his
family sets off quest for Celestial City (heaven)
Each adventure stands for a religious meaning
The meaning of what happens in the adventures comes from beyond the
So allegory for the Christian soul
o Girls in LW supposed to follow and recreate this journey, and get rid of their particular
o Ch. 4 called “burdens”
o Ch. 7-10 describes how each sister deals with her respective challenge also del
Beth = Little Faithful, finds Palace Beautiful
Jo Meets Apollyon, her anger needs to be controlled
Meg goes to Vanity Fair, Moffat House
Amy‟s Valley of Humiliation
o Not straightforward Puritan lit:
The child hero wants to make his maker as soon as possible, but the sisters are
only playing Pilgrims, turned into a game at the beginning
The burdens that they bear not presented in the narrative that are issues that are
terrible, like sin, or moral corruption
But are real-world issues that they face, largely social issues
Which solicits reader‟s empathy/sympathy even if puritanical model
foreign to most of us
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