In Little Women, the role of wealth and poverty is a central theme. In fact, the novel opens with the girls bemoaning the fact that they don't have the means to have a lavish Christmas. However, as the story unfolds the reader realizes that though the Marches are poor, they are not as bad off as others living nearby. The disparity between the haves and the have nots is embodied in the juxtaposition of the March family to the Laurence family.
Thanks for that reminder helps to have a lit sedutnt in this group! Elbert's contentions do make a lot of sense and while Alcott denies, denies, denies that she was writing primarily about marriage in Moods, she certainly said plenty about it! I remember when I visited the Concord Library seeing a letter from Louisa replying to a man about Moods (the first version) and there too she denied writing about marriage and contended that she was writing about moodiness. Perhaps it was a subconscious move on her part? Who knows, but certainly she had plenty to say about the subject based upon her unusual experiences.