Jo's Morality in "Little Women" Analytical Essay by scribbler

Jo's Morality in "Little Women"
An analysis of Josephine March's struggle to achieve morality in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women".
# 153507 | 816 words | 1 source | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Jun 06, 2013 in Literature (American)

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The paper describes how in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women", Josephine March is able to be moral despite the great pressures and responsibilities imposed on her by her gender, the economic and political circumstances of the time, her role as elder sister, and her immense creative talent. The paper shows, however, how Jo is also notoriously stubborn, proud and easily provoked to anger, vices that consistently challenge her moral resolve throughout her adolescence and early adulthood. The paper discusses how ultimately, Jo is able to overcome these vices with the help of moral guidance given to her from her family and upbringing so that she matures into a humble, charitable and temperate character, who finds moral inspiration in her future husband.

From the Paper:

"The first instance of Jo's vices getting the best of her is when she remains angry at Amy for burning her manuscript even after Amy apologizes. The next day Jo does not warn Amy about the thin ice when they go ice skating, saying "no matter whether she heard or not, let her take care of herself" (Alcott 145). Subsequently, Amy falls into the freezing water and Jo finally realizes that her "bitter temper" had gotten the best of her, to the point that her sister almost died. Luckily, Jo still tries to lead a moral life even if her vices get a hold of her, so that afterwards she acknowledges "her hardness of heart" and looks for advice from her mother. At this point the story reveals the source of moral inspiration for the main characters, because Jo finds guidance by looking to her family, and specifically her parents. Her mother encourages Jo that "we all have our temptations, some far greater than yours, and it often takes us all our lives to conquer them," and uses herself as an example of someone who has led a moral life through hard work and prayer (Alcott 147-148). This allows Jo to realize that although she struggles, she is not an immoral person to the core, and thus has hope of leading the kind of life she strives for."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. Google ebook. Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers, 1868. eBook. Retrieved from:

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