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Summary, Character Analysis and Review of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a book filled with many exciting adventures. This book is a well known classic among everyone, especially many women. The book was published in two parts Chapters 1-23 were published in 1868 and Chapters 24-47 were published in 1869. This book has always been popular since it was fully published in 1879. The book has been well loved and turned into a movie, play, opera, and a musical for even more people to enjoy.

Plot summary

The book takes place in the Civil War era. Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and their mother Marmee struggle to keep the household running smoothly and supporting themselves while their father is away in the war, serving as a chaplain. Since their father isn’t working and earning money, they have lost their fortune. The girls miss their lives before they were poor, wishing to be rich again. During their wallowing of wanting to be rich, they get to know their wealthy neighbors, Mr. Laurence, and Theodore “Laurie” Laurence. The girls learn how to deal with their own challenges and problems. They physically but also mentally grow throughout the book. Marmee helps guide each one throughout the storyline. The reader is able to see the girls grow from teenagers to mature young adults, ready to take on the world. The girls learn the importance of family, selflessly helping others not as fortunate as them, differences of being happy and being wealthy, and how working hard pays off. Even though each girl has their own battle to fight and struggle to face they are always there for one another, and are each other’s best friends. The girls share the same desire of growing up but also wanting to keep everything the same. They fear that everything will change once they get older. The storyline of the book is all the adventures they experience and what they have learned and how they have grown throughout every situation. The family bonds together since they lean on each other for advice and comfort one another when they are down.

Character Descriptions

Josephine March is the main character of the book. This character is represented by the author, Louisa May Alcott herself. Josephine or “Jo” March is a fifteen, brown haired, grey eyed young girl. She’s a tomboy and wishes that she was born as a boy, so she can fight in the Civil War and be with her father. Since, her father is away in the war, she must be the man of the house and be strong for everyone. She wants to be able to help the troops, instead of being left on the sidelines to knit. When she isn’t desperately wishing to be a boy, she loves to read and write scripts for plays. She loves to read works from Dickens, Shakespeare, and Scott. She and her other sisters put on the plays for their friends, neighbors, and family. Like any other person, she has weaknesses too. She isn’t always able to control her temper at times. Which can cause quite the mess if she isn’t careful. I could relate to this character a lot. She was very unique compared to all of the other characters. She wanted to be her own person and didn’t want to be like all of the other girls during that time period. Jo hopes she will do something great in her future, even though she doesn’t know for sure what she will do. Which as a reader I can relate to, will happen hopefully it is going to be great. Jo was a very believable character, she had many emotions and fears of growing up like anybody has had. She was very opinionated, but I enjoyed that because she was honest and it was easy to tell how she was feeling. She made the book very interesting. Theodore Laurence is one of the supporting characters in Little Women.

Theodore “Laurie” Laurence is a fifteen, black haired, brown eyed boy. He’s the wealthy neighbor of the Marches. Before he met the girls he was very moody because his grandfather wouldn’t let him go out and meet friends his age. The girls changed his mood and taught him friendship and love. He wants to be a composer, but his grandfather has different plans and ideas for him. Eventually he talks to his grandfather, and they agree to a compromise for his future. The girls help him break out of his shell. He learns many valuable things from the Marches, such as learning different morals. Just like Jo, he has a touchy temper.

Which can get him into trouble. I really liked the addition of this character because he added a different perspective. This story is mainly filled with females, so it was nice to add some variety in the mixture. When Laurie traveled to Europe he started to get distracted and wander off from doing the right thing. The friendship with Marches helped him get back on the right track. This character was believable because we all can lose our true self at one point and sometimes it just takes a couple of good friends to help us out.


There are many quotes in Little Women, that can make you appreciate what you have. This story helps you appreciate the things and people you surround yourself with.

“I don’t believe fine young ladies enjoy themselves a bit more than we do, in spite of our burned hair, old gowns, one glove apiece, and tight slippers that sprain our ankles when we are silly enough to wear them. ” This quote makes Jo and Meg realize that just because you might have many nice possessions does not mean that you have more fun. They learn that life is what you make of it not how much stuff you own. There is more to life than money, big, fancy, houses and expensive cars. Those items will only grant you happiness for a short time. Friendship, family, love, and laughter is what makes life more enjoyable and meaningful. Having connections and relationships with people have a bigger impact on our lives than materialistic things. Little Women has many great quotes in the book. It talks about love, family relationships, poverty, marriage and ambitions.

In Chapter nine, Mrs. March talks to the girls about how they should marry a man for genuinely liking him, instead of marrying him for what he can offer her. “I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good. To be admired, loved, and respected. To have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy. ” During that time-period many women were getting married because it was important, not because they actually enjoyed the persons company. Mrs. March wants her girls to be happy with whom they marry in the years to come.


I would recommend this book. The beginning of the book can be hard to read because it does seem to be a little slow. The different kind of dialect was also hard to read and understand. I think that girls would preferably like this book because it is mostly a female filled book, there are few exceptions. This book also has some aspects of being historical. This took place in the Civil War, so it showed what the women did while the men were fighting and how they kept going through a tough time in history. This is a good book, definitely would recommend it.

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Summary, Character Analysis And Review Of Little Women By Louisa May Alcott. (2020, Jun 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from
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