Little Women: Theme Analysis

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Little Women is a coming of age story of four sisters in Civil War New England.  Together they face hardships and poverty all the while trying to reach their Castles in the Air.  More than that however, Little Women is a morality tale.  Each chapter not only contains the lives and adventures of the four sisters, but lessons on how to be a good person, and how to achieve happiness in life.  These values are centered upon God, family, and love.  Though money, people, hair, and childhood dreams come and go, Marmee's wisdom about happiness never seems to falter.  The dreams of the writer, artist, and pianist in the family all fall behind the happiness they find in their respective households. 
In some respects, Little Women is also a child-rearing guidebook.  When Marmee's harvesting time came, she had three happy well-rounded children and a fourth with God.  Each lesson she taught was not just told to them, but demonstrated, and enforced with kindness and with love.  She inspired her girls to be the best they could be, and did not try to change them even if they were as awkward and tomboyish as Jo.  Most importantly, she let them make the choices for their life and did not sway their decisions once the girls made them. 
Little Women today remains a classic because it shows that every young person goes through trials and decision points.  Death's of loved ones, family crisis's, and the mending of broken hearts are something all young people go through and are acturatly portrayed in Alcott's novel.  Most importantly, readers today remain inspired by Jo's commitment to her writing, Meg's devotion to her family, and Beth's willingness to help the ones she loves. 

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