Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11474
"Little Women" in a Man's World: Louisa May Alcott's Life Reflected in Her Work
The purpose of this essay is to argue the point that the fictional Jo in Little Women (1868), represents Louisa May Alcott, the great 19th century writer, in her aspirations to write. Not only was Alcott a revolutionary writer for her time, but an avid abolitionist and women’s rights activist. This essay looks at the parallels between Alcott’s life as an unconventional female advocate and writer and her headstrong character, Jo, and shows the similarities of the two women’s struggle as they find their way in life and push the boundaries as writers in a male dominated society.
While both women struggle to make it in the world as writers, they are fueled by passion for what they write and are determined to have a better life for their families than simply struggling in poverty. Louisa and Jo achieve success as writers and are able to help their families, however, Louisa continues her writing career throughout her whole life, unlike Jo, who switches vocational direction when a love interest comes into her life.
Louisa May Alcott’s dream of being a writer, abolitionist and female right’s advocate all came true. Having Jo to represent her writing aspirations made it possible for Louise to show the world all of the emotions she felt through all of her life’s adventures, whether it be family, career, or romance. Even though there were many sacrifices and struggles, she worked through them and lived an extraordinary life. Louisa pushed the boundaries of a male dominated society in the mid 1800s by her strong character, through which her family helped to shape, her accomplishments as a writer, and her independence as a woman willing to stand on her own and accomplish her life’s ambitions.