The Pageturner:*Spoilers* “Little Women” Exhibit Big Hearts

Alcott’s “Little Women” continues to guide readers through childhood and into adulthood with it’s many valuable lessons.


Kortney Huggins

“Little Women” was first published in 1868 though the simple story continues to touch the hearts of readers today. The March family has a lot to teach today’s world.

Kortney Huggins, J1 Mentor and Student Life Editor

First published in 1868 and first filmed in 1994, “Little Women” is no new story. With the excitement and promotion that came from the 2019 production, directed by Greta Gerwig, the book once again gained the attention of readers and movie-goers.

Set in the 1860’s and the mid-Civil War era, the book transports the reader back in time with its many primitive motifs such as written letters that are ever-so-important throughout the book, as well as fountain pens and inkwells. Small details such as these made the book personal and I found myself aching to live in simpler times.

The book follows the busy lives of the March family, from their father being in the war, to the marriages of his children. There are four daughters, each unique in their own way, that are learning how to be respectable young women. With the guidance from their kind-hearted mother as well as other adults who care for them tenderly, each woman matures to fulfill an almost enchanted life, even if the lifestyle was not what she would have believed it would be.

Jo, the second eldest of the bunch, was perhaps my favorite character, though I loved each of them due to their diverse personalities. Jo was a reader and writer as well as a prospering feminist. I found these characteristics about her intriguing because, during this time period, women were expected only to marry and have children. She had goals and big dreams that allowed her to be independent yet also successful.

Kortney Huggins
The book I purchased in late November was a special edition. Throughout the book, there were pages that had images of the corresponding scenes of both the book and the movie.

Jo and her sisters learned many valuable lessons throughout their lives. One of the recurring ones happened to be that you might have a plan for life, but it can always change.

The ending of the book was far from what I thought it would be. For example, the marriage of young Mister Laurence to one of the sisters proved me absolutely wrong. Though it did make for an amazing ending to the book in which most everyone received their ‘happy endings’ even if it was not what they thought it would be.

Deciding to read this book as my last of 2019 was not a hard choice for me. With the popularity of the upcoming movie steadily growing, I knew that I would want to read it before seeing the movie and I am glad I did because, although the movie was fantastic, the writing of Louisa May Alcott was incomparable.

As many of my favorite actors portrayed the movie, I felt it was only right that I should see it. I thought the movie was exceptional and critics agreed, as it is up for multiple awards such as numerous Golden Globes and many Critics Choice award nominations.

I think that one of the things that could have been done better throughout the movie is following the key parts that were important throughout the book. For example, the marriage of the eldest sister, Meg. Prior to the time jump, there were many details to be sorted out before the marriage such as the couples age gap, as well as Jo’s transparent disdain of her sister leaving their house for a man.

In the book, there were more moments that showed Jo growing to understand her sister’s wedding and more gentle moments between the two that help portray their bond. I simply feel that small moments such as these should have also been in the movie to show the audience the growth Jo, as well as others, made throughout the book.

There were a few key things that led up to the three year time jump that were important in the book, but were almost completely forgotten about in the movie.

Overall, I was satisfied with the movie. Often times, readers find themselves seeing a book brought to life by a movie and it strays so far from the book they are letdown. I cannot say the same in this instance.

From the actors and actresses who played the complex characters, to the costumes as well as each setting the movie itself was amazing and the fact that it followed the book so closely made my reader-heart happy.

“Little Women” is a must-read as well as a must-see. The lessons that this book teaches remind readers, especially young girls, that it is okay to be independent, but it’s also important to know the difference between independent and lonely. It reminds people that they don’t have to do life alone.