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Sister's ChoiceTradition and Change in American Women's Writing. The Clarendon Lectures 1989$
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Elaine Showalter

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198123835

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198123835.001.0001

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Little Women: The American Female Myth

Little Women: The American Female Myth

(p.42) 3 Little Women: The American Female Myth
Sister's Choice

Elaine Showalter

Oxford University Press

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is ‘the American female myth’, and Alcott's heroine Jo March has become the most influential figure of the independent and creative American woman. Little Women has been the subject of much critical re-evaluation and debate. Several Americanists have discussed Little Women as an important feminist critique of the Transcendentalist movement. Many feminist critics have concluded that Little Women was the turning point at which Alcott compromised her imaginative vision in the interests of commercial success. It is stated that Alcott's American female myth shaped the lives of women of many times and places who read Little Women, never forgot it, and had the freedom to make different choices.

Keywords:   Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, female myth, Jo March

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