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Little Women was one of the most beloved American children’s books of all time. The book is a story based on four sisters and their struggle in life, love, and the limited choices available for them in that era. It was initially published in two parts. After the first part became an instant hit, there was a clamour to know what happened to the March sisters. It was answered by the book Good Wives. Little Women and Good Wives were published as one in 1880 and was never out of print since then.
See the fact file below for more information on the Little Women or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Little Women worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT’S LIFE
- Louisa May Alcott is an American author known for her book, Little Women published in 1868.
- Born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832.
- She wrote poems, short stories, thrillers and juvenile tales since 1851 under pseudonyms Flora Fairfield and A.M. Barnard.
- Little Women was a story based on her life as a child and her sisters.
- She wrote a series of books based on Little Women like Little Men and Jo’s Boys.
- She was never married and died on March 6, 1888, at Boston Massachusetts.
- Josephine “Jo” March – the second sister of the March family, Fifteen years old at the start of the novel and the scribe of the family. She moves like a Tomboy and hot-tempered. In the beginning, she does not like the idea of herself being married as she wants to live independently.
- Margaret “Meg” March – a beautiful sixteen-year-old girl and the eldest of the family. She is the first one who will be married and start a family. She longed to be rich but forgot her ambition when she fell in love with John Brooke.
- Elizabeth “Beth” March – a thirteen-year-old and a very timid girl. She never had an ambition and contented to have her family together. She got a Scarlet fever after helping a poor German family, and her health did not recover after that.
- Amy Curtis March – the youngest of the March sister. She is 12 years old when the story started. Self-proclaimed selfish but tried to do better. She mostly gets what she wants in the novel, Paris, her Art and Laurie. She conforms to what society expects her to be.
- Mrs. Margaret “Marmee” March– the matron of the March family. The girls look up to her, and she never misses anything about her daughters.
- Mr. Robert March – the patriarch of the family who went served as a chaplain during the war and temporarily left his family.
- Theodore “Laurie” Laurence – Jo called him Teddy or my boy in a platonic way. He became much of an honorary brother to the March sisters. He joined them on their games and protected them.
- Mr. Laurence – Laurie’s grandfather, who wants him to stop his ambition of pursuing music. He grew fond of Beth because she reminded him of her daughter, who loved to play the piano.
- Mr John Brooke – Laurie’s tutor who pursued Meg. He announced his intention to Meg’s parents but they decided that she is too young to get married. They eventually tied the knot when Meg turned twenty.
- Mr Friedrich Bhaer – a poor German professor who Jo fell in love too.
- He and Jo became friends when she was living in a boarding house in New York. He asked Jo to become his wife one rainy afternoon under the umbrella.
- Aunt March – A wealthy spinster who Jo accompanied as her means to earn money. Jo inherited Plumfield when she died.
- The story starts when the four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, are contemplating what they want to get for themselves for Christmas.
- Living in poverty while their father was sent as a Chaplain in Union Ministry Church during the war.
- Their little family got an honorary brother when Jo met Laurie on a New Years eve she and Meg attended.
- Laurie and his grandfather got close with the March family with the old man having Beth as his favorite.
- The four March sisters and Laurie had done a lot of exciting adventures, difficulties and triumphs throughout the book.
- Meg attended parties and longed to be accepted in the society of rich girls but realized that it is not worth it. Jo wants to be a published writer and keeps his promise to be the man of the family. Amy continues his passion for art and to become a lady and Beth content with playing the piano and keeping her family together. Laurie decided to adhere to his father’s wish and forgets his passion for playing the piano.
- A telegram came stating that Mr March is sick and Marmee needs to go to him. Jo sold her hair to help cover the cost.
- Beth got Scarlet fever after taking care of the Hummels which she continues doing without her sisters. Marmee was summoned, and Amy went to live with Aunt March.
- Beth survived the sickness, but her energy never came back. Amy got a turquoise ring from Aunt March, which serves as her reminder not to be selfish.
- Mr. March came back at Christmas, and the family celebrated Christmas together.
- Meg got engaged with Laurie’s tutor, Mr. Brooke, and Jo was very unhappy about it as she did not want to give up Meg.
- Part two begins with the preparation of Meg’s wedding.
- Jo finally got her first paid story published. Amy was chosen to accompany Aunt Carroll to Paris instead of Jo, who was counting on it.
- Meg struggled in her new domestic life with her husband and accidentally complained to her husband that she was tired of being poor. She immediately apologized and forgiven.
- Beth continued to be frail. Jo contemplated that Beth loves Laurie, but afraid Laurie wants herself.
- She decided to go to New York to divert Laurie’s attention to Beth. Her writing career was flourishing and made more money for it.
- She met an old German professor, Friedrich Bhaer, and they become friends. He became critical of Jo’s published sensational stories.
- On Laurie’s graduation, Jo went home and found Beth getting worse.
- Laurie proposed to her but declined to declare that they are not suited for each other, and she treats him like a brother.
- Laurie, heartbroken decided to go to Europe where he met Amy. They spent a lot of time together. He decided to mend his broken heart secretly by becoming lazy. Amy called him for it. Adhering Amy’s advice, he followed his passion for a while but realize that his talent is not a genius.
- Amy was waiting for Fred Vaugh to propose to her during her stay in Europe but declined when he did.
- Amy and Laurie received a letter that Beth died, Laurie immediately went to Amy to comfort her. Laurie proposed to Amy, and she accepted.
- Back home, Jo is so lonely after Beth died. They also found out that Laurie and Amy were engaged. She finds comfort to Marmee and let her know that if Laurie asked her again, she would have answered differently.
- Laurie and Amy came back, and Laurie accidentally announced that they are married to Jo.
- Friedrich called to the March house and became a frequent visitor.
- Later, Friedrich announce his intention to Jo despite his fear that he could not provide for Jo because he is poor. Jo accepted and declared she would not ever marry a rich man.
- Aunt March died and left the Plumfield to Jo, which they turned into a boarding school.
THEMES IN LITTLE WOMEN
- GENDER STEREOTYPING
- Meg and Amy’ personality gives us a glimpse of what the 19th-century women need to be, even if it is a wife for Meg and wanting to marry a rich man for Amy for economic reason.
- Jo and Laurie, however, tried to deviate from this stereotyping as Jo does not want anything to do with husband and marriage and wants to live independently and Laurie wants to pursue his passion in music, a typical feminine role at the time.
- They both give up these ideals and conform to what society expects them.
- The chapter called “Castles in the Sky” revealed the March sisters ambitions. Jo wants to be a renowned writer, Amy wants to be famous for her art. Meg wants to be productive, so she does not have t work, and Beth wants her family to be together.
- Amy and Laurie realized that talent isn’t a genius. That at the time, they need to be great or they’ll be nothing. Amy stop pursuing being an artist, and Laurie stopped being a musician. “Talent isn’t genius, and no amount of energy can make it so.”
- None of them got their ambition, but that did not hinder them finding happiness and contentment
- The sisters love for their family is one thing they have in common.
- Jo wants to write to provide for her family. Meg is the eldest kept her siblings in line. Beth only wants her family to be together as her Christmas wish. And Amy wants to marry well so that she can help her family.
- Beth even asked Jo on her deathbed to stay for their father and mother, which she willingly obliged.
- Beth’s death has been the greatest tragedy in the book. It alters some plot point. It made Jo realize how lonely she was and crave for affection. Her death brought Laurie and Amy closer together.
- She died cradled by her mother, and it is as peaceful as Beth would be with, with one loving look and a sigh.
- Aunt March had put to the March sister’s head that they should marry well just what was expected for girls their age at the time.
- Marmee, on the other hand, continually remind them to pursue happiness rather than a rich husband. Meg adhered to her mother’s philosophy and became a happy wife of a poor husband.
- Amy, being exposed to more worldly things, took it upon herself that she will marry for money. Although she did not say it, outrightly, it was heavily implied when Laurie asked her if she will accept Fred’s impending proposal.
- Marmee’s lecture win at the end, as Amy said no to Fred Vaughn when he finally proposed. “for when the time came, her courage failed her, and she found that something more than money and position was needed to satisfy the new longing that filled her heart so full of tender hopes and fears.”
- The book being a story of four heroines, it is almost necessary for authors at the time to give them romance stories.
- Meg found love with Mr John Brooke, a poor tutor of Lauries’. She loved him despite her Aunt March’s objection and notion that she should marry well.
- Laurie fell in love with Jo and proposed to her after his graduation. She rejected his offer reasoning that they are not suitable for each other.
- Laurie went to Europe to nurse his broken heart. He met Amy and spent time together for some time. Laurie surprisingly discovered that his broken heart was healing faster more than he wants to admit, and his affection was slowly turning to Amy.
- He proposed, and Amy accepted. They got married in Europe before they went home.
- Jo, despite her insistence of living independently, she found herself lonely and craving for affection.
- She got the affection she needed from a certain German professor she became fond of.
Little Women Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Little Women across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Little Women worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Little Women which was one of the most beloved American children’s books of all time. The book is a story based on four sisters and their struggle in life, love, and the limited choices available for them in that era. It was initially published in two parts. After the first part became an instant hit, there was a clamour to know what happened to the March sisters. It was answered by the book Good Wives. Little Women and Good Wives were published as one in 1880 and was never out of print since then.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Little Women Facts
- Alcott’s Biography
- The March Sisters
- Jo Meets Apollyon
- Team Amy or Team Jo
- Alcott’s Journal
- Quotes To Live By
- On The Shelf
- Little Women On Film
- Your Favorite Scene
- My Beth
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.