Tag Archives: louisa may alcott

Daniel Kean: My Favorite Fictional Character

Thousands of people the world over know and love Louisa May Alcott’s classic story of sisterhood, Little Women. But what not as many people know is Alcott wrote a follow-up book called Little Men. (There is also Jo’s Boys, but I won’t be getting into that travesty in this article.)  Little Men follows the various adventures and mishaps of the young students at Jo Bhaer’s country school, Plumfield.  One of these boys, Daniel Kean (‘Dan’), has become my favorite fictional character and I’m here to tell you why.

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The March Sisters: A Family of Little Women

NOV / DEC 2014: BY RACHEL SEXTON

littlewomen

Everyone has a family, and whether we spend a lot of our lives with them or not, they leave some sort of impact on us. A lot of literature and writing for the screen explores this topic—both the good and bad. As the holidays approach, this is the time of year that family comes to the fore. A wonderful film adaptation of a classic story with a family focus happens to have a significant portion of scenes with holiday settings and is an entertaining movie to boot. Little Women demonstrates the unity of family by detailing the bond between the March sisters despite their differing personalities. Continue reading

The Real Jo March: The Wartime Service of Louisa May Alcott

MARCH / APRIL 2014: BY VERONICA LEIGH

louisa

Louisa May Alcott is best known as the author of the American classic Little Women, and identified with her literary counterpart, Jo March. While the Alcott family and their life inspired the events of the book, history paints a different picture of her. She was raised by an idealistic father, Bronson Alcott, and practical mother, Abigail May, under the philosophy of Transcendentalism. The Alcotts were often in debt, starving and moving from place to place, yet their unorthodox beliefs encouraged them to continually sacrifice for others. It wasn’t uncommon for them to restrict their food rations and give what they had to spare to the less fortunate. The Transcendentalists supported the abolition of slavery before it was popular; Bronson welcomed an African American girl into his classroom and had to close his school for daring to cross the line. The Alcott family even had connections to the Underground Railroad. Continue reading

Little Women

MAY / JUNE 2013: BY VERONICA LEIGH

littlewomen

Every girl remembers when she came across that literary heroine she connected personally with. My introduction occurred in the spring of 2000, at a church yard sale. My mother, sister and I were assisting with the sale and while we were there, we stumbled on a few interesting finds. One was a video with Little Women at the top and a picture of four smiling-faced girls and their mother splashed across the box. I’d never heard of the movie or the March sisters but the description sounded intriguing. We brought it home and popped it in the VCR that afternoon. Continue reading

Lessons from Louisa

MAY / JUNE 2013: BY RACHEL McMILLAN

louisa

Louisa May Alcott never wrote without intent; her stories were vignettes: patched together into a quilt designed to provide her young readers with amusement while teaching them about morality, building their characters and speaking to their developing consciences.

Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom both begin with a dedication to her readers: bridging the gap between storyteller and listener and establishing warmth and friendship with her young audience as a voice of assistance, helpful criticism, altruism and instruction.  In the popular 19th Century trope of adding a preluding note to the reader, Alcott uses the beginning of Eight Cousins to cite Alec Campbell’s experiments: carefully constructed for his impressionable niece and refers to her work in the same novel as a type of experiment, suggestive of character building and amusement rather than the educational improvements one might expect of adults. Continue reading

Reward of Virtue: Adaptation in The Inheritance

MAY / JUNE 2011: BY RACHEL SEXTON

inheritance

As in the other arts, aptitude and enthusiasm for writing tends to manifest itself early. Precociousness marks out some of the authors who have left their legacy of words with us, and the earliest works of these writers can simultaneously impress and demonstrate the growth of their ability in their later works. Louisa May Alcott was only 17 when she wrote The Inheritance and it is a case in point. The plot owes a lot to fairy tales but the entertainment of reading it can not be denied. The same can be said of it’s film version. The adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance is a interesting mixture of invention, faithfulness, and modernization, but the most important theme of the book retains it’s clearness in film form: virtue is rewarded. Continue reading