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Important Lessons in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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In the start of the novel, Little Women, the four March sisters struggle to understand that having very little could mean so much more. For instance, when Meg talks about how dreadful it is to be poor. It seems as if she has no positive outlook on life. “It’s so dreadful to be poor!” (Alcott, p.1) The four sisters – except for Beth- find it hard to truly understand what the real meaning of life is. It’s not just about the money and goods. Furthermore, Beth is the only sister that grasps the significance of what life is all about. “We’ve got Father and Mother and each other,”  Beth realizes and expresses to her family members that the most essential things in life are family. There is nothing like a loving, and complete family. In Little Women the March girls do not appreciate how beautiful life could be.

In Little Women, Louisa May Alcott expresses the importance of making sacrifices for others. For example, when Meg speaks about sacrificing for other families in their community. “You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can’t do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don’t.” (Alcott, p. 1) The March girls comprehend that sacrificing could go such a long way. Such as deciding not to purchase items and save money. Sadly, the sisters do not understand how to do things in a positive manner. In other words, Beth does not set a decent example for her younger sisters. “There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind? Beth has very small sacrifices, but will do anything for the March sisters in order to keep the girls happy. In this novel, there are many situations where many sacrifices have to be made.

In Louisa May Alcott’s, Little Women, the March sisters have great ambitions that could admire others forever. For example, Jo has not figured out her life plan but she does realize hat she would like “to do something very splendid”. (Alcott, p.29) “Jo’s ambition was to do something very splendid. What it was, she had no idea as yet, but left it for time to tell her, and meanwhile, found her greatest affliction in the fact that she couldn’t read, run, and ride as much as she liked. A quick temper, sharp tongue, and restless spirit were always getting her into scrapes, and her life was a series of ups and downs, which were both comic and pathetic.” (Alcott, p.29) Jo has understood that she wants to pursue a career in some capacity but has not quite figured it out yet. Jo pertains a strong meaning of what she has to accomplish, even with everything life throws at her. Similarly, the mother explains throughout the story and a lesson is learned that it’s not all about the big things, the little things in life are the most important. ‘My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting.’ Throughout the novel the mother speaks about the little things in life. The mother educates the children that it is not all about the big things. For example, the money, and the immense homes. In the end, the most important is family. During the lessons learned in the novel, ambition has been shown through certain ones.

In conclusion, with the commitment of each sacrifice, with the acceptance of poverty, and with the dedication of each ambition, the March sisters show the lessons they learn throughout their life.  

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