“Because they are mean is no reason why I should be. I hate such things, and though I think I’ve a right to be hurt, I don’t intend to show it.”
This book is such an acclaimed classic, since receiving this beautiful Scholastics Classics edition for my birthday I’ve been anticipating reading it! Thankfully it definitely lived up to my expectations with it’s feminist themes – which are still relevant nowadays – and ideas on social conformity – which is also applicable today as well as having absolutely beautiful writing! This book doesn’t feel stodgy at all as is often the case with classics as the language is very different and it sometimes feels like you can’t connect with the characters due to the time period.
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With the novel spanning a year in the life of the March family, after Mr.March goes off to war, we follow Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy as they learn to ‘play pilgrims’ whilst dealing with romance, friendships and poverty. In my opinion the characters are the best parts of this book; with the plot being quite thin it’s true to say that Little Women is really a character driven story. Each sister has very distinct characteristics and skills; Jo being a feisty tomboy who has a passion for writing, Beth a timid musical girl, Amy the youngest sister is a great artist and finally Meg, the more conventional girly girl. It’s so easy to relate to these girls; I personally connected most to Jo as she just adored literature and refused to let society change who she was.
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It is so well written too; the settings are so engaging. You could feel the breeze as Meg and Jo walked to work in Winter and you could see the girls discussing in their ‘Busy Bee society’. If you’re looking for a relatively light classic read involving endearing characters and is jam-packed with emotions, subtle feminist and social themes then Little Women is certainly for you!