Little Women Reflective Essay

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In “Little Women: Alcott’s Civil War” (1979), Judith Fetterly argues that the four sisters of Alcott’s Little Women (1868) are denied their dreams because “Little women marry, however, not only because they lack economic options, but because they lack emotional options as well. Old maidhood obliterates little womanhood and the fear of being an old maid is a motivating force in becoming a little woman” (377). I conclude that these strong women chose their life outcomes due to their own maturation. Maturation is realizing things we wanted before aren’t always what we will want in the end, a trait Meg exhibits when she comes to realization about loving Mr. Brooke. Meg’s dream was to be rich so that she would not have to work, with “a lovely house, full of all sorts of luxurious things; nice food, pretty clothes, handsome furniture, pleasant people, and heaps on money”(140). This may have been what Meg dreamed about before, and despite her Aunt March telling her she shouldn’t marry John because he is poor; but this didn’t stop Meg to defend him. “My John wouldn’t marry for money, anymore than I would. We are willing to work, and we mean to wait. I’m not afraid of being poor, for I’ve been happy so far, and I know I shall be with him, because he loves me, and I-“ (224), and change her dream of being rich to marrying a “splendid, wise, good husband” (140), just as her sister Jo had said. Just as Meg’s dreams changed, so did Amy’s dream of going to Rome and becoming a famous artist. By “Harrvesttime”, Amy married Laurie after traveling all of Europe, painting, doing as she pleased. Amy was still able to fulfill her dream, while adding more that she hadn’t thought about before. Amy had the option to marry Fred Vaughn, one of Laurie’s wealthy friends, and help her family move up in the social class, but choose the real love she felt with Laurie instead, also exhibiting
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