Jo March is a feminist icon. But, while her feminism may not resemble that of the modern day, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women offers a thoughtful inspection of the female struggle to redefine womanhood and gain financial independence in a world of men. The beginning of this paper will compare Jo March to her sisters, Meg and Beth, and her mother, Marmee, who all offer Jo potential, and undesirable, routes into womanhood. This paper will also use Jo's affinity towards masculine traits in childhood to prove that it is Jo's blending of both the feminine and the masculine that propel her writing career forward and ultimately win her the financial independence she craves. Furthermore, some believe that there is a discrepancy between Jo's character and her ending. This paper will demonstrate that Alcott's amended ending of Little Women further exemplifies the constraints that Victorian women suffered, and that Jo's marriage reveals a harsh realty that many women were forced into marriages. Additionally, this paper reminds readers that both Jo and Alcott's stories advance feminist discourse.
"Dismantling Gender Roles and Redefining Womanhood in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women,"
Locus: The Seton Hall Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 4, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarship.shu.edu/locus/vol4/iss1/12