Anne Dalke and Barbara Sicherman on the Theme of Feminism in Little Women

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Little Women, Gender, Louisa May Alcott
  • Pages : 2 (812 words )
  • Download(s) : 13
  • Published : April 3, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
“The House-Band: The Education of Men in Little Women” by Anne Dalke discusses Auerbach’s reading of the novel. Auerbach interprets the theme of feminism in Little Women differntly than how Dalke interprets more positively views the feminism in the novel. “Reading Little Women: The Many Lives of a Text” by Barbara Sicherman also discusses the theme of feminism positively, but Dalke's focus is more narrow; Sichmerman discusses how Little Women appeals to a wide range of readers. These critical essays both discuss Little Women's feminism but focus on different aspects of the theme. Both Dalke and Sichmerman interpret Little Women's strong theme of feminism and discuss how the novel appeals to women readers. Sicherman discusses how readers learn from characters, and Dalke discusses how the characters themselves learn from the sisters' faults and experiences. Both critics focus on Jo as the main character that the readers and other characters learn from. Sicherman discusses many groups of readers who relate to Alcott's novel, especially Jo's example of a strong woman. One group of readers is young girls. “Adolescents from diverse backgrounds can interpret Little Women as a search for personal autonomy” (635). Dalke agrees that the novel is a good example of how to be strong and independent. Dalke discusses how the first half of the story is about the sisters' burdens and how they struggle to overcome them; the second half shows how the sisters grow and learn from their faults. Further, Dalke discusses how the characters learn from each other. While Alcott does not write a story of strong women who do not have faults, she writes of women who are stronger because they overcome faults. Dalke also recognizes that the women are stronger because they redefine gender roles. For example, “Laurie is taught by the March girls how to respond to women, children, and to other men” (560). When Laurie went to visit Amy in France, Amy said Laruie was too...
tracking img