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Study Guide

Little Women Essay | Critical Essay #5

This Study Guide consists of approximately 134 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Little Women.
This section contains 2,012 words
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Critical Essay #5

When Louisa finished writing part two of Little Women, she suggested "Wedding marches" as a possible title. She changed it, however go "Birds Leaving the Nest," or "Little Women Grow Up," because she did not wish to suggest that marriage should be the focal event for growing girls. Instead she argues that girls who take trial flights from secure homes will find their own paths to domestic happiness. They might choose independent spinsterhood or some form of marital bonds that range from partial to complete "household democracy." For Alcott, sisterhood and marriage, though often contradictory, are equally valuable possibilities for women. Fully realized sisterhood becomes a model for marriage, not simply an alternative to it. Together, marriage and sisterhood guarantee that individual identity and domesticity will be harmonious.

Meg, the eldest and most "docile daughter," does not attain Alcott's ideal womanhood. Democratic domesticity requires maturity, strength, and above...

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This section contains 2,012 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Little Women Study Guide
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Little Women from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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