Sunday, June 27, 2010

Little Women

My online book club read Little Women this month. I remember seeing a play of it as a child and being struck by Beth's death. I don't think I'd seen a young main character die. I may have read the book then. I'm pretty sure I did.

I was struck by how moralistic the book is. All the characters are so good and are constantly urging each other to live out their favored virtues. The style wasn't great, but there's enough that's sufficiently charming that it's readable.I did pick it up with the feeling of obligation, but got through each daily selection so I'd finish in time. Louisa May Alcott just isn't a great writer.

I did wonder about the society and woman that produced this book. This book is so overtly moralist and the problems quite easy to address that it doesn't instruct modern readers, but it does tell the about an earlier time, or one corner of the country during an earlier time. I can see how many people wouldn't like this. However, I am struck by how popular this book is in China. Many of my students love it. They love the sisters' togetherness and the feeling of family. They also love the morality and romance though it's predictable.

1 comment:

adrienne said...

You might be interested in a book entitled MARCH. It is a fictionalized version of what happened to the father in the story when he went off to war. It's written by Geraldine Brooks and there is a lot of information about it at the following website: http://www.geraldinebrooks.com/march.html