Hello, Classic B00k-a-Month Readers!
Today is the day for the grand “posting of the questions.” Spoilers below!
To be honest, I’ve borrowed and modified these from a number of sources because 1) I’m not finished with the book yet and 2) I honestly knew very little about the book or about Louisa May Alcott before this month (not my period of study!).
I thought these questions were interesting, though, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think. Please feel free to respond in the comments or post on your own blog (or use our Goodreads Group page!). Remember that we are using #CBAM2017 for social media discussion, too – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (SPOILERS AHEAD!)
- Little Women is often categorized as a “children’s book”? Do you think this is really the case? What aspects of it seem directed at or appropriate for child readers? What aspects of it might appeal more to adult readers?
2. Why do you think Little Women is divided into two halves? (If your edition doesn’t show this, note that the first part, originally titled Little Women, goes from Chapters 1 to 23, and the second part, originally titled Good Wives, goes from Chapters 24 to 47.) Is anything lost or gained by splitting the book into two sections?
3. Does the title and term “little women” say anything about the status of American women in the 1860s?
4. The last two chapters find Jo setting aside her budding literary career to run a school with her husband. Some critics have argued that the book, sometimes praised as feminist, is actually anti-feminist because its strongest female character gives up her own ambitions in the end. Why do you think Alcott made her strongest feminine figure sacrifice her own life plans for her husband’s? Do you think this is a feminist work?
5. What purpose does Beth’s death serve? Was Alcott simply making a sentimental novel even more so, or was this a play on morality and philosophy?