little women- family education

Topics: Family, Mother, Girl Pages: 7 (2632 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Family Education in “ Little Women”

As a classic and influential book in American women literature, Louisa May Alcott’s “ Little Women” attracts and affects generations of readers. The story describes the passion for ideal, the hopes for future, the pursuance for true love of the four little women --- Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. In this novel, four young ladies have quite different characters: Meg, the eldest of the four, chooses to bear poor life for her true love; Jo, a boyish and unfettered girl, strives persistently to fulfill her dream and finally becomes a writer; Beth, a quite girl, does everything without complaints and always thinks for other; Amy, the youngest of the four, shows concerns for poverty and set charity as her life career. Even though the four sisters grow up in difficult circumstance, they never feel disappoint to the struggling life. On the contrary, the girls become more and more strong and keep hard working to reach their goals. What are the reasons for them to form such persistent and optimistic characters? Without a doubt, family education in the four girls’ early ages contributes a lot to them.

In the story, Mrs. and Mr. March, especially Mrs. March, plays an important role in the four sisters’ family education. Mrs. March bears the pressure of life while she gives her girls love and guidance which let the girls keep on making progress. Mrs. March guides the sisters to recognize and experience the hardships of life. At the same time, she tries her best to prevent the girls from being hurt in reality. The four sisters are always in a caring family environment, which make them believe that they can overcome all the obstacles and find happiness when they come back home. As a harbor, family gives the four sisters a place to discover, prepare and practice for the real life. At the end of the story, it is cheerful to see that all these four girls set sail in their lives’ ocean and become real women.

1. Create healthy family atmosphere.
Family affects the four girls positively in many respects. First of all, it created a healthy atmosphere. Family atmosphere is not only about the economic condition. It is the unique mood or tone in a family. In a family, “Parents establish the family atmosphere; the atmosphere is in some part, a reflection of parents’ issues and values. Through parents, children absorb the family values and try to fit within the pattern, or the standards set by the parents.”[1] The family atmosphere will directly affect the children’s feelings, attitudes, and choices. I cannot deny that a wealth family can provide more resources for children’s growth. However, family atmosphere plays a more vital role in the growing process of children. If someone lives in healthy family atmosphere, almost all the family members will feel happy. Even though sometimes they have some different views to some problems, the family is a united when facing some big issues. In such mutual understanding family atmosphere, children will learn how to communicate and collaborate with other people. What’s more, children will get the sense of safety of the harmonious atmosphere. Children who grow up in such families will be willing to help others and be more positive.

The March’s lost most of their income by helping others, which make the family under a struggling circumstance. Additionally, with Mr. March away, serving as a clergyman for soldiers fighting in the Civil War, only the four daughters and the mother stays at home. Mrs. March takes all the responsibilities of the family and makes everything in good orders. Here are some examples.

In the first chapter, after a busy day, Mrs. March came home while the four girls were performing. “Glad to find you so merry, my girls”(P 12), “Well, dearies, how have you got on today? There was so much to
do, getting the boxes ready to go tomorrow, that I didn't come home
to dinner. Has anyone called, Beth? How is your cold, Meg? Jo, 
you look tired to...
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