Little Women Tone Overview

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Little Women Tone Overview

By | April 2013
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Alcott’s Tone Overview: Little Women

The late 19th century was an important time in the early American society. Little Women provides close insight of the changing position of girls and women during the times of the great Civil War. Little Women shows the reader countless dimensions of the children’s daily lives, including their dating rituals, chores and schooling. The book focuses on a family of the middle-class New England that is having hard financial times and they prove how sticking together as a family keeps everyone close. Louisa May Alcott’s novel, Little Women uses life experiences of sisters, Beth, Jo, Meg and Amy and there maturity during girlhood to represent the tone of bittersweet, care, and innocence of hardships of this time in era.

Throughout Little Women Alcott expresses a usage of affectionate and caring tone in describing the sisters’ problems and rough times. When sister Amy was struck by the teacher, the teacher calls Amy before her class and tells her to dispose of the pickled limes and punishes her with “several tingling blows on her little palm” (Alcott 75) Alcott uses Amy’s punishment to put forth how consequences were a lot different in this time period. When Amy gets struck, there’s a tone of sympathy. The reader gets the feel that it was not Amy’s fault and that she did not deserve to get punished for such a little wrong doing of bringing limes to class. This also shows us how children were brought up a lot differently and adults were stricter on their children, and how physical reinforcement was also allowed in the classroom, unlike today. Adults expected their children to act more mature and respectful, and for young girls to act like ladies, "I'll try and be what he loves to call me, 'a little woman,' and not be rough and wild; but do my duty here instead of wanting to be somewhere else." (Alcott 13) Jo speaks this quote after the march girls receive a letter from their father whom is fighting in the Civil War. Jo...
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