The Little Big Things in the classic , The Little Women

Have you read the classic, Little Women by Louisa Alcott? And if you knew that her original working title for the book was ” The Pathetic Family”, you would feel her pain and anger as she used direct inspirations from her life and simple events around her to create this unforgettable tale

It is a layered book which unravels itself differently at different ages in time. Depending on when you read it , Little Women can feel like a girls’ coming-of-age story, a family drama, a love story, or a feminist text about women’s choices (or lack of it in the confines of society sanctioned ambition and dreams).

Here are a few points to think and the timeless #quotes

Life goals and change

Jo, Beth, and Amy start off as archetypal characters -Traditional Meg; a shy ,homely Beth ; frank and independent Jo and passionately creative Amy. But just like in life , each of these personalities take decisions that seem against their characters.

While we may chart paths that leads to the goal, sometimes the paths and very goals change. How do we define our success and failures?

Feminism, choices and freedom

There is always a debate between the “working” woman and the stay at home mom. Yet if feminism is about equal choices one should be perfectly happy to accept that a woman with a post graduate degree may be happy to stay at home and choose to step out of the rat race, as long as it is her choice.


… What should we do, so that our fight for equality and opportunity weaves in a thread of acceptance, tolerance and inclusiveness for all ?


…Would you pick Little Women for your son / a boy to read? Reflect on our internal conditioning.


…Think of Marmee saying she was always angry. Why was that anger frowned down and morphed into stiff quiet order? Does the ideal mother have to be in perfect control of her emotions , to the point of always being angry. Think of our glorification of “motherhood” and the shackles it brings


…Think of Toxic masculinity and how feminism can actually be freedom for men. Read the poem “Little Boy Crying” by Mervyn Morris and reflect on the last line ‘You must not make a plaything of the rain’

Sacrifice

Mitch Albom, in The Five People You Meet in Heaven says
“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”
“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to as

…Why do we always tend to look at a sacrifice as a loss? Don’t we often do it because we think it’s worth it.
Take a moment to look at what they may have gained in what they gave up. Meg gives up her dream of material comfort to marry John Brooke; Jo gives up her dream of financial independence; Amy lets go of her dream to become a famous artist.
…Explore the other side. Is it something we should aspire to?

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