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ENGB35 Little Women 2.docx

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Pouneh Saeedi

ENGB35 Little Women 2  Meg and Jo, granted Crusoe middle-class industry o Framed in nationalistic way o American girls are hard-working and independent o Especially nationalistic gendering o Their jobs aren‟t that radical, they still confine them to domestic spaces o This extensive of industry and independence doesn‟t trouble the idea of separate spheres o Another move: if you work at the home, you‟re actually bring wage labour into domestic sphere  Emphasis in this book on the way that work can fit in domestic ideology  Work defined as house work, it‟s wholesome, keeps from ennui and mischief, gives sense of power better than money or fashion o Alcott literalizes, embodies the difference in spheres:  March house, entirely female  Laurence house, all male  Pushing the idea of male sphere and female spheres to extremes here  How she portrays the separate spheres, the values attached/presented  Laurie, peeping tom, entranced by domesticity  And female sphere, the femininity  His house is cold and forbidding and distinctly lacking in domestic ties  Super patriotic?  He was feeling sick and lonely  They have cultural capital, library, piano, girls jealous  But they‟re rich in family or something  Also shifting the terms here, goes out of its way to redefine riches in domestic turns o Track throughout book, Meg especially learns what it means  Laurie‟s envious here  On one hand, quite radical in 19 c, still rather conservative though, because it only prioritizes one side of the binary, which still fundamentally based on biological  Women belong at home, but home‟s alright, so it‟s all good o Meg: learns the lesson earlier in chapter three, and then later again  Meg is really a good girl, because rouge is a step too far, and she rebels it  Laurie turns up as policeman as the situation looks at her with disapproval because she was all vain  Alcott framing her version of Cinderella, Meg getting makeover  The presentation of the Moffats:  They are rich, their daughters dress expensively  Meg intuits the problem with the Moffats quite early on o They‟re rich, but not particularly cultivated o Her makeover transforms her into a Moffat minion and it occludes her natural character o These people are just superficial  The middleclass value is not to have money, it‟s much better to have taste  To be disgusted by overt displays of wealth, essentially trying to make yourself feel better by saying taste > wealth  Moffats bad version of Laurence
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