Here is a book report I did on “Little Women”. Letters “X” and “Z” were excused.
A: Alcott. Louisa May Alcott is the author of “Little Women”. The book was published in two parts, one in 1868, and one in 1869. The book is loosely based off the author’s life with her three sisters.
B: Beth March. Beth is the third child in the March family. She is sweet and compassionate to those around her, and has much joy in playing the piano.
C: Civil War. The book is set in the midst of the Civil War, which Mr. March is away fighting in. He writes his four daughters letters.
D: December. The novel begins with the four March sisters lamenting about the probable lack of Christmas that they will have that year, as their father is away and the family is fairly poor. The sisters are talking with one another about the presents they wish to receive, and the ones they are excited to give to their mother.
E: Europe. Later on in the book, Meg and Amy have separate opportunities to travel to Europe. The March’s neighbor Laurie also makes several trips across the ocean.
F: Family. Family is a very strong focus point in this book. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are very close with one another, and share a special bond as sisters. The whole immediate March family supports one another and loves their neighbors as themselves.
G: Girls. “Little Women” begins with the sisters being fairly young; some are teenagers and some are a few years younger. Because of this, as the book continues the reader can see how each of the characters mature and reason with one another. Seeing the healthy transition from girlhood to womanhood in each March sister is one of many aspects that make this book a charming read.
H: Hope. Hope is one of the things that keep each of the March sisters moving through their work and schooling while they wait for their father to return from fighting in the Civil War. Each girl has a special way that they hold each other up; Jo cuts off and sells her hair to provide money for the family, Amy is a companion to Aunt March, Beth plays piano and always has a kind word, and Meg takes care of a nearby poorer family.
I: Ice Skating. In one wintery scene, neighbor Laurie takes Jo March to a party. Amy is so upset over being left out that she burns a manuscript that Jo had been writing. This becomes a major point of conflict between the girls, but they eventually make up when Amy follows Jo and Laurie out ice skating, and falls through the ice. Jo and Amy realize the importance of maintaining love and forgiveness, and not letting the sun go down on their wrath.
J: Jo. Josephine March is the second born, and is modeled after the author’s own life. Jo is headstrong, has a hot temper, and is a tomboy. She quickly makes friends with her neighbor Laurie. She enjoys writing and acting, and is fairly dramatic when the occasion calls for it, but in the end, she sees the value of family and loves most of those around her dearly (the exception being Aunt March).
K: Kindness. Kindness is a trait most apparent in Beth and Mr. Laurence, Laurie’s grandfather. The two have a special relationship because Mr. Laurence lost his young daughter, and Beth reminds him of her. Beth connects with Mr. Laurence because he lets her play his piano, and ends up giving it to her before she passes away.
L: Laurie. Theodore Laurence, neighbor to the Marches and nearest to Jo’s age, is affectionately referred to as “Laurie” by his friends and neighbors, and “Teddy” by Jo. He is best friends with Jo, but after her rejection of his proposal, ends up marrying Amy.
M: Marmee. The March sisters’ mother, Marmee, guides the girls through growing up. She encourages them to read “Pilgrim’s Progress”, and make their own pilgrimage through life, following God and loving others.
N: Neighbors. The March family is a prime example of reaching out to our neighbors and community. They help feed and take care of a nearby German family with many children in worse poverty than themselves, and they cheer up the Laurence men, who in turn provide lifelong friendship.
O: Opera. Jo absolutely loves putting on plays, operas, and tragedies; anything to cheer up neighbors and family, and related to a form of literature or writing interests Jo immensely.
P: Pilgrimage. The March sisters cling to their mission of being good “Pilgrims”, inspired by the book “Pilgrim’s Progress”, to make their father proud while he is away fighting.
Q: Questions. One humorous aspect of the book is little Amy, the youngest March sister, who is always trying to act mature and use an expanded vocabulary. Oftentimes she will ask silly questions or mispronounce words in an attempt to appear “grown-up”.
R: Robert March. The father of the March girls, he is absent for most of the book because he is away fighting. He gets wounded in December of 1862, and is supported by his wife and John Brooke, who is a tutor to Laurie, helps the March parents while Mr. March is wounded, and ends up marrying Meg.
S: Sisters. Throughout the book, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy show strong love and support for one another throughout trips to Europe, their father being wounded, boy troubles, and arguments. They provide a good example of sisterhood, and are loosely based off Alcott’s own sisters.
T: Turmoil. Aunt March disapproves of many things about the March family, but the girls and Marmee continuously take care of her. With their father being wounded, Beth’s death, and the drama over Laurie, the sisters have many hard times, but they come through them loving each other more and providing a good example for readers.
U: Union. Mr. March is a chaplain in the Union army during the War Between the States, which he served and was wounded in.
V: Vivacity. Amy, the youngest of the sisters, and Jo, both continually are outgoing and independent, while Meg and Beth are more subdued and happy to simply advise and comfort their sisters. Each sister has a vastly different personality, but they blend together to form a warm and loving family.
W: War. Whether it be the Civil War or the occasional sibling’s fight, turmoil is not absent in this book. Life is not all happy for the March family, but they faithfully continued on their pilgrimage, even though some, like Beth’s, were not as long.
Y: Young teenagers. I would recommend this book for children in their early teens, because of the length of the book and content therein. Some scenes, such as Beth’s death or letters to and from the family may make the book hard or tedious to read for younger audiences.