Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

1934To be honest, I read this book because of ‘Friends’ – the series. In one of the episodes Joey was reading the book and he got so upset over the condition of these young ladies that he had to freeze the story by putting the book in the freezer. I mean, that’s Friends, but it was enough to arouse my curiosity.

Well my thoughts on Little Women is very different from its portrayal in Friends. It is the story of four young girls struggling in life yet enjoying every moment in their sweet innocence. Their mother is a strong figure who is not only feeding her girls, running the household but also teaching them morals and values side by side. When I picked up the book, I thought it will be like Pride and Prejudice, which is my favorite till date, but it was nothing of the sort. Although the scenario is a bit same, middle class family, four young girls and second being the wisest. Yet in Pride Prejudice the mother is after  hooking up her girls with men of good fortune but here the mother is more concerned about teaching her daughters to be grateful for what they have, to work and earn their living, and to help and feed the poor. She teaches them to remain humble

”Simple, sincere people seldom speak much of their piety. It shows itself in acts rather than in words, and has more influence than homilies or protestations.”

“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”

Jo, the second daughter, was short tempered. How the mother teaches her to be patient and forgiving is just beautiful. She told her about the history of her anger problem  and how she dealt with it with the help of her husband.

“Your father, Jo. He never loses patience, never doubts or complains, but always hopes, and works and waits so cheerfully that one is ashamed to do otherwise before him.”

Laurie, is a kind boy who lives in front of them. Although, very rich, he is very lonely and lives alone in a big mansion with his grandfather. He is very fond of the girls and made best friends with the second of the four.

“Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say no when they mean yes, and drive a man out of his wits just for the fun of it.
–Laurie”

I have to admit it is a slow moving story, as compared to the thrillers we love to read these days. Yet, there are so many lessons in this book of love, respect and piety, that I think every young girl and boy should read this, so that such values be inculcated in their personality from an early age.

“The emerging woman … will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied…strength and beauty must go together.”

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