On Monday, June 3th, the Booked for the Day Book Group met to discuss the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Here are a few of the comments made during the meeting:
Many of the group members read the book as a young girl but still enjoyed re-reading the book as an adult. During our discussion we talked about the author’s life in relationship to the book and noted the similarities.
In 1927 a poll was taken as to what book most interested the general public, and Little Women was number one with the Bible being number two. This surprised the members especially since it is promoted as a little girl’s book and then we talked about the possible reasons as to why it was so popular.
We noticed that the book did not discuss controversial ideas. For example, they talked about the Civil War but did not discuss the issue of slavery. They appeared to be a religious family but never mentioned what denomination they were. We decided that it was a way to appeal to a wider audience since the purpose of the novel was a financial one.
No one cried when Jo died mainly because we all knew it was going to happen, and when she passed away Alcott did not expound on the death.
The novel was noted at the time of publication for its realism in its depiction of the characters, but most of us thought it was hard to believe that the girls got along so well, especially since they were sharing rooms.
Everyone was disappointed that Amy married Laurie, and we talked about Amy and Jo’s differences. We had a hard time believing that once Laurie was rejected by Jo that he would fall in love with Amy.
In the last two chapters we find Jo setting aside her career to run a school with her husband. We thought Alcott had Jo marry only because that is what all young ladies did and to please her audience. We all felt that if Alcott had her way she would have left Jo unmarried.
We talked about how Little Women lives up to every stereotype of a novel’s ending: all the girls are married to perfect husbands, living happily ever after. And of course, Jo inherits Plumfield, which makes everything even more perfect.
We thought the book was easy to read because there was so much dialogue.
These are just of few things mentioned during the discussion. Please feel free to add any of your thoughts in the comment section.