Little Women is a coming of age story of four sisters in Civil War New England. Together they face hardships and poverty all the while trying to reach their Castles in the Air. More than that however, Little Women is a morality tale. Each chapter not only contains the lives and adventures of the four sisters, but lessons on how to be a good person, and how to achieve happiness in life. These values are centered upon God, family, and love. Though money, people, hair, and childhood dreams come and go, Marmee's wisdom about happiness never seems to falter. The dreams of the writer, artist, and pianist in the family all fall behind the happiness they find in their ...view middle of the document...
The emphasis on sisters is a sub-theme of family love. Two of the sisters, Jo and Amy, are outspoken and opinionated. They pair up with the two quieter sisters, Meg favoring Amy and Jo favoring Beth. In spite of a little sibling rivalry, however, once they are adults, the sisters’ interrelationship is strongly cemented by their desire and determination to continue helping and looking out for each other.
The Definition of Wealth
Wealth-or the value of it-is a dominant thread through the entire novel. The loss of wealth and status was keenly felt by LMA herself, and she built the concepts into her characters as they long for something that has been lost, learn to live without it, eventually realize that there are different kinds of wealth, and finally understand that true wealth has very little to do with money or high society.
The theme of growing up goes hand in hand with understanding wealth, appreciating what they have, and finding the value in each other. Two of the characters, Meg and Beth don’t change much by the end of the novel, but Jo and Amy both adjust their priorities, learn to be considerate of others and discover ways to share their possessions and their individual talent.
The Campbell style hero’s journey enters into the story with...