“I want to do something splendid…
Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead…
I think I shall write books.” (Alcott, 1868, Chapter 13 p. 4)
Not only did Louisa May Alcott change the world with her books, but she was also an inspiring and passionate individual. Alcott’s words and writing were what drew me in at first. The way that she expressed emotions with the most poetic words was so perfect and comforting to me. She also had a passion for her writing, whether it be in poetry or writing novels. Although I lack the novels to show, I too have a passion for writing and poetry! Louisa May and I both enjoyed running outside and spending time playing outdoors. Her family was big on education and exercise as well. She believed strongly in women’s rights, which is something that I have a passion for. Alcott was also a creative person when it came to coming up with stories. I would like to think myself creative when it comes to making art or music too. She was determined to write, and wrote many of her main characters as strong, independent women. I can relate to this determination, although not in my writing, but through the way I can get really caught up in a task that I want to succeed in and get done.
“Let us be elegant or die!” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Louisa May was a strong person who didn’t have a care for what others thought of her. She had a passion for running outside, writing, and stood up for feminism all when it was looked down upon to do so. Her writing inspired many people as I hope to inspire others, and I can only hope to be as strong and confident as Louisa May! The way that she did what she loved without the fear of judgement stopping her is what I aspire to do every day. One way that Alcott and I might diverge is that fact that she did what she did for the money. She grew up in a poor household and as a result was motivated by the thought of money. While this may be a generational or time sensitive topic, I can understand Louisa’s motivations. I think that it is perfectly reasonable to have to do something for the sake of money (and I am very lucky to not be in that situation). I think putting yourself into different shoes is always beneficial to expanding your perspective and understanding of the world however. I look forward to being able to compare and contrast the different worldviews and motivations that Louisa and I have!
Louisa May Alcott changed the way people in her time looked at women through her books. The writing of her novels like “Little Women” used realistic representations of women that reached out to many at the time. Her characters spoke to many people personally and changed the way women were wrote in novels, and thought of in society. Louisa’s most famous book “Little Women”, thought published in 1868, has never failed to speak to the present generations. Despite its age, the novel tells realistic and relatable characters for young women of every age. People find themselves in the books and its world, making it a childhood story for people around the world. The books and iterations of the story have been popular and beloved up since 1868, and will continue to be! As a female writer in a predominantly male dominated society, Alcott had her work cut out for her. Her stories of unmarried, headstrong women did not fit in with the married housewife that existed in the stories at the time. Between caring for her family, sickness, and being financially stable, Alcott managed to find the time to write. Alcott, though she loved writing, needed money. She had the idea that if she was richer, she would be much happier.
Louisa May spoke to so many people long after her death through her writing. She was way ahead of her time in terms of her views on what women should be allowed to do. I think that anyone who manages to still speak to those tens of tens of years after they die, had something special about them. Not only did Alcott manage to outlive herself through writing, but she also stood up for feminism, anti-slavery and taking a run outside in the 1800’s! I think she stands for doing what you love without caring about others. Her books are a triumphant tribute to life and love and all the hardships that come with that we can all learn from.
For the next phase of my research, I want to try and read through the book Little Women, or read another one of Louisa May’s pieces. I will probably not finish either, but I would like to get started on them. I also think that looking deeper into the personal life of Louisa May such as family and youth would be interesting. There is a lot of emphasis on her famous works, but I would like to know a bit more about her life before.
Alcott, L.M. (1868) Little Women. Roberts Brothers
Norwood, A.R. (2017). Louisa May Alcott. National Women’s History Museum. https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/louisa-may-alcott
Brockell, G. (2019) Girls Adored ‘Little Women.’ Louisa May Alcott did not. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/12/25/girls-adored-little-women-louisa-may-alcott-did-not/