By: I. Fischer
Little Women, a book written by Louisa May Alcott, has definitely been the talk of 2019. The intriguing novel caught the public’s attention due to its movie adaptation, which starred several well-known actors such as Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep and Florence Pugh. Essentially, the book tells the life story of the four “March sisters” - Amy, Beth, Jo and Meg – who all live in poverty waiting for their father to return from the Civil War. While their father is away, the four sisters strive to become the best version of themselves in order to make him proud when he returns. The book is semi-autobiographical, arguably having some of its characters taken from the author’s life; some say Alcott based “Jo” off of herself, and that Beth’s fate was based on what happened to Alcott’s sister – no spoilers! The novel tackles various important themes such as: sisterhood, love, family, religion, death, war, poverty and gender roles. The March sisters have to deal with many family responsibilities and conflicts with each other and with themselves, while still trying to pursue their dreams as women in the 19th century. It is important to note that the book is split into two parts, which assist in providing great character arcs and developments for the sisters. For instance, beautiful and vain Meg learns how to overcome troubles and value her family over luxury. Jo grows out of her “tomboyish”, awkward phase and becomes a confident, intellectual woman and an established writer. Timid and sweet Beth comes to terms with the staggering truth about her future and learns how to be at peace with it. Lastly, Amy, - the youngest of the four - blooms into an ambitious and elegant lady after years of being an immature and spoiled child.
Overall, Little Women conveys many positive messages such as appreciating and being grateful for what you have, overcoming your faults, and valuing family time. The March sisters are great female role models and have a touching relationship; they’re extremely loyal and generous to each other, despite their occasional – and way too real – sisterly conflicts. Plus, all of them challenge societal roles in some manner. Mostly Jo – who challenges 19th century female stereotypes by being boyish and wanting to earn money for her writing - and Amy - who is extremely ambitious and strives to become a successful painter.
Even though the writing might be outdated and old fashioned for modern readers, Little Women is a novel that shows how love binds us all – and it is what all March sisters have in common. At last, I’d definitely give Little Women 5/5 stars, because personally I think it’s absolutely timeless and completely worth reading.