The girls decide that they will each buy themselves a present in order to brighten their Christmas. Soon, however, they change their minds and decide that instead of buying presents for themselves, they will buy presents for their mother, Marmee.
Development history[ edit ] InThomas Niles, the publisher of Louisa May Alcott, recommended that she write a book about girls that would have widespread appeal.
Alcott wrote, "they are the best critics, so I should definitely be satisfied. Each of the March sister heroines had a harrowing experience that alerted her and the reader that "childhood innocence" was of the past, and that "the inescapable woman problem" was all that remained.
Having lost all his money, their father is acting as a pastormiles from home, involved in the American Civil War. The women face their first Christmas without him.
Meg and Jo March, the elder two, have to work in order to support the family: Meg teaches a nearby family of four children; Jo assists her aged great-aunt March, a wealthy widow living in a mansionPlumfield. Beth, too timid for school is content to stay at home and help with housework; Amy is still at school.
Meg is beautiful and traditional, Jo is a tomboy who writes; Beth is a peacemaker and a pianist; Amy is an artist who longs for elegance and fine society. Jo is impulsive and quick to anger. One of her challenges is trying to control her anger, a challenge that her mother experiences. She advises Jo to speak with forethought before leaving to travel to Washingtonwhere her husband has pneumonia.
Their neighbour, Mr Laurence, who is charmed by Beth, gives her a piano. Beth contracts scarlet fever after spending time with a poor family where three children die. Jo tends Beth in her illness.
Beth recovers, but never fully. As a precaution, Amy is sent to live with Aunt March, replacing Jo, while Beth was ill and still infectious. Jo has success earning money with her writing. Meg spends two weeks with friends, where there are parties for the girls to dance with boys and improve social skills.
Brooke goes to Washington to help Mr. While with the March parents, Brooke confesses his love for Meg. They are pleased but consider Meg too young to be married. Brooke agrees to wait but enlists and serves a year or so in the war.
After he is wounded, he returns to find work so he can buy a house ready for when he marries Meg. Laurie goes off to college, having become smitten by Jo. When they have twins, Meg is a devoted mother but John begins to feel left out.
He realises that he has fallen in love with Jo. Sensing his feelings, Jo confides in Marmee, telling her that she loves Laurie but as she would love a brother and that she could not love him romantically.
Laurie proposes marriage to her and she turns him down.
Jo decides she needs a break, and spends six months with a friend of her mother in New York City, serving as governess for her two children. The family runs a boarding house. She takes German lessons with Professor Bhaer, who lives in the house. He has come to America from Berlin to care for the orphaned sons of his sister.
For extra money, Jo writes stories without a moral, which disappoints Bhaer. Amy goes on a European tour with her aunt. Laurie and his grandfather also go to Europe.
Jo devotes her time to the care of her dying sister. Laurie encounters Amy in Europe.
On his last day, he proposes to Jo. Aunt March dies, leaving Plumfield to Jo.Sep 13, · The book, especially in its creation of Jo — independent, unconventional, irreverent, impatient, devoted to her writing and proud of her ability to earn money at it — has been an inspiration.
Little Women Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Little Women is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (–), which was originally published in two volumes in and Alcott wrote the books over several months at the request of her publisher.
Following the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—the novel details their passage from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three. Jun 09, · Growing up with three sisters, Little Women was more than just a book; it was a parallel world.
Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy became templates against which . “Girls write to ask who the little women marry, as if that was the only aim and end of a woman’s life," Alcott wrote in her journal. "I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please anyone.”. The lie of Little Women is a multifaceted one.
The book, a treasured American classic and peerless coming-of-age story for girls, is loosely inspired by Alcott’s own biography.