Louisa May Alcott --the “good daughter”-- LMA at 25 and Little Women

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Louisa May Alcott --the good daughter-- LMA at 25 and Little Women </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> Bronson Alcott Abolition of slavery Womens rights Critic of fashion extremes Both Parents: Social responsibility Non-material values Christian compassion Self-sacrifice Transcendentalism Fruitlands Educational Reform The Pilgrims Progress Abba Alcott </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Abba Alcott: Abolitionist How does this issue enter Little Women? </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Abba Alcott: Advocate of Womens Independence Women at work How viewed in Little Women? Restrictive gender expectations Lady-like appearance and behavior Jos burden transformed Wifely duty Meg: the new wife The house-band </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> Abba Alcott: Critic of Ostentatious Fashion Extreme Fashion: Enforces social inequities Uses exploitive manufacture sweat shops cotton: slaves Promotes egotism and self- indulgence Silk afternoon dress, 1868-78 Abba republished John Owens The Fashionable World Displayed </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> New Years Eve Ball Marches disapprove of vain fashion But without some show, the family would have no social presence Good breeding not enough Winona Ryder in Little Women 1994 (Ch. 3) </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> Meg and Fashion Megs Wedding? The violet silk? Cinoline period silks, 1863-67 </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> Bronson Alcott: Transcendental Philosopher Nature (including people) is rooted in God People can know God through nature and intuition Self-reliance, compassion, self- sacrifice Asher B. Durands Kindred Spirits 1849 </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> Bronson Alcott: Educational Reformer Education should draw out of the child his innate nobility and wisdom My father taught in the wise way which unfolds what lies in the child's nature, as a flower blooms, rather than crammed it, like a Strasbourg goose, with more than it could digest. LMA Where is Bronson Alcotts educational philosophy strongly reflected in LW? </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> Fruitlands The entrance to paradise is still through the strait and narrow gate of self-denial Bronson Alcott Experimental commune 1840s Dress code: simple work clothes non-exploitive manufacture no cotton, wool, or silk Vegan diet (fruit-lands) No animal labor or provision (manure, honey) No trade with outer world; no surpluses Failed: insufficient crops without animals; some members failed to perform equal labor </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Experiments (Ch. 11) You may try your experiment for a week, and see how you like it. I think by Saturday night you will find that... (LW 109) What did the girls try and what did they learn? How did their utopian community compare to Fruitlands? </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> The Pilgrims Progress (Bronson Alcotts Favorite Book) The Pilgrims Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come: Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream (1675) John Bunyan (1628-1688): poor, uneducated tinker Imprisoned 12 years/1 year as unlicensed Nonconformist preacher Wrote PP during 2nd prison term </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> The Pilgrims Progress Opening As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothed with rags... a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back... As he read, he wept, and trembled... saying, What shall I do? </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> Christians Journey Christian, instructed by the Evangelist, sets out for the Celestial City to escape destruction of world. Bogs down in the Slough of Despond; pulled out by Help Visits the House Beautiful, the Valley of Humiliation, Doubting Castle, Vanity Fair (show of worldliness, materialism, feasting, etc.) William Blakes illustration of Christian </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> How does Little Women reflect the structure and themes of The Pilgrims Progress? </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> Mrs. Marchs Proposal Do you remember how you used to play Pilgrims Progress when you were little? Nothing delighted you more than to have me tie my piece-bags on your backs for burdens, give you hats and sticks, and rolls of paper, and let you travel through the house from the cellar, which was the City of Destruction, up, up, to the house-top, where you had all the lovely things you could collect to make a Celestial City.... Now, my little pilgrims, suppose you begin again, not in play, but in earnest, and see how far on you can get before father comes home (10-11) </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> Burdens Megs burden Jos burden Beths burden Amys burden Ill try to be... a little woman, not rough and wild. Mine is dishes and dusters, and envying girls with nice pianos, and being afraid of people. I am a selfish pig! I think too much of my looks and hate to work </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful The very big house did prove a Palace Beautiful, though it took some time for all to get in, and Beth found it hard to pass the lions. Old was the biggest one.... The other lion was the fact that they were and Laurie (Little Women 58) Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that have none: keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee. (The Pilgrims Progress, part I, stage 3) What courageous things does Beth do in this chapter? Mr.Lawrence poorrich </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> Amys Valley of Humiliation I should not have chosen that way of mending a fault... But Im not sure that it wont do you more good than a milder method. You are getting to be altogether too conceited and important, my dear, and it is quite time you set about correcting it (Little Women 70). What had happened? </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> You dont know; you cant guess how bad it is! I get so savage, I could hurt any one, and enjoy it (LW 79) What had happened? Christian Defeats Apollyon, Illustration in The New Amplified Pilgrims Progress The Destroyer; -- a name used (Rev. ix. 11) for the angel of the bottomless pit, variant of the Hebrew Abaddon. Jo Meets Apollyon </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> Meg Goes to Vanity Fair Belle Moffats soiree How does Med dress? How does she behave? Champagne, flirting, silly talk: Im not Meg tonight; Im a doll, who does all sorts of crazy things. To- morrow I shall put away my fuss and feathers, and be desperately good again (LW 94) </li> <li> Slide 22 </li> <li> Part I and Part II Men are incorporated in a strictly non-patriarchal arrangement with males exhibiting the nurturing behavior conventionally reserved for women in separate spheres society. Female-centered world (1 male pro-visionally admitted) where burdens are tackled and Progress achieved. </li> <li> Slide 23 </li> <li> A New Vision of the Family Dont shut your husband out of the nursery, but teach him how to help in it. His place is there as well as yours, and the children need him... That is the secret of our home happiness. [Father] does not let business wean him from the little cares and duties that affect us all.... Each do our part alone in many things, but at home we work together, always (392) </li> <li> Slide 24 </li> <li> Graphics Acknowledgements www.louisamayalcott.org William Blakes illustration of Christian: http://library.uncg.edu/depts/speccoll/exhibits/Blake/pilgrims_progress.ht ml apollyon: www.orionsgate.org vanity fair: www.thebaptistpage.com Fruitlands: www.esoteric.msu.edu/Tours/Alcott.html Durands Kindred Spiris: www.artchive.com movie stills: www.erasofelegance.com/littlewomenphotos.html and www.romanticmovies.about.com www.costumes.org/history Bunyan, Allegorist: www.wmcarey.edu/carey/portraits Violet silk dress: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/barnard/theater/kirkland/3136/Crinoline%20 Gallery/pages/07.1865.1.htm Victorian schoolchildren: www.pembschool.org/uk </li> </ul>