Class Notes (807,350)
Canada (492,715)
English (1,481)
ENGB35H3 (133)
Natalie Rose (102)

Little Women (part 1).docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Scarborough
Natalie Rose

ENGB35 Jan 30, 2013 C18th: public sphere (men); private/domestic sphere  Jim Hawkins made it all the way to an island; Jo March only made it next door From contemporary reviews  “Capital story for girls – sure to please them and sure to influence them for good”  “the moral teaching [is] conveyed in a manner to make a lasting impression on the children who read the book‟ o i.e. L.W. is a straightforward, moral book o Girls would follow the lessons learned by the book‟s characters o The moral framework is not hidden – hits people over the head with the morality The Moral Child “Playing Pilgrims”  The game that the March girls play, based on Pilgrim‟s Progress  They are supposed to follow this idea, getting rid of their individual burdens  “Burden‟ (chap. 4) echoes Christian‟s burden o Must get rid of personal failing  “Beth finds the Palace of Beautiful” (6) o Christian  “Amy‟s Valley of humiliation” (7) o Amy must suffer humiliation for her vanity  “Jo faces Appollyon” (8) o Jo must face her own temper  “Meg goes to Vanity” (9) o Meg visits the Moffat house  “Little Faithful” (17) o Beth represents Little Faithful, a creature that Christian meets in Pilgrim‟s Progress Pilgrim‟s Progress provides the moral structure for the book  An allegory in which the pilgrim, Christian, takes up his burden, leaves his wife and family and sets off for the Celestial City – i.e. heaven o Places he visits represent spiritual challenge o The meaning of his adventures comes from beyond the text – adventure doesn‟t matter, it‟s what the adventure represents that matters ENGB35 Jan 30, 2013 This book (Little Women) is not straightforward, Puritan literature:  In that type, children must find God then they die, because they are too pure for the world  The March sisters are not quite following this – they are playing a game, using an already romanticized idea of childhood  The problems that the girls face are not spiritual but more real world and ethical  Beth is “not… an angel but a very human little girl” o Even though she does follow some of the Puritan framework – she is the most good of the children and is ill, most likely to die. However, she is not a Puritan, she does not want to die.  “The March sisters are the first „naughty‟ children allowed to survive and prosper in American children‟s literature” (Ruth MacDonald) o Are not fundamentally punished for their burdens Louisa May Alcott  Her father could not provide money for family o So Alcott and her mother had to provide the money  “I do it because it pays well” o Little Women was sort of written to order – in children‟s lit, there was not enough girls literature so she was paid to write one  She did not write the book in order to push her own moral code Book deeply split between fantasies of rebellion and a proper moral message and a proper definition of womanhood Three ways of looking at book:  Straightforward moral text; reinforces conventional (conservative) social constructions of femininity  Radical text for its time o Alcott was actually a supporter of women‟s rights and suffrage o Jo doesn‟t want to be a typical woman and follow rules  Radical text because problematizes social constructions of gender to such an extent that it‟s actually quite radical Little Women: What does the title suggest about children and gender?  Transition period to adulthood  Girls shouldn‟t be rowdy and rough like boys, must be gentle and hardworking young adults ENGB35 Jan 30, 2013 o Gendered adulthood – obscuring childhood – no
More Less

Related notes for ENGB35H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.