The Unconventional Woman of Little Women and Good Wives

Little Women and Good Wives is a classic children’s novel published in the late nineteenth century by American writer Louise May Alcott. The book concerns the lives, loves and marriages of four sisters growing up during the American Civil War. Alcott portrays four sisters in the book. They are Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. In this essay, Jo’s characteristics will be compared and contrasted with those of her three sisters. The purpose of this comparison is to demonstrate how Jo shows her non-femininity and to what extent she diverges from the contemporary expectations of women. Furthermore, based on the close reading of the novel and historical research, this essay will discuss whether Jo’s choice of writing, her main meanings of entering the man’s world is realistic.


1. Introduction
2. Jo’s male-like characteristic and the conventional woman
Jo’s rejection of typical female identity
Jo’s adoption of male identities
Jo’s attitude toward beauty
Jo’s abrupt language
3. Jo’s choice of writing career
Is Jo’s dream realistic as it is presented in the novel?
Is her choice of writing career realistic from the historical perspective?
4. Conclusion

Author: Mao, Fengping

Source: Kristianstad University

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