Additional Points for Discussion

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
Site Support Notebook

The following questions were suggested by Alcott project scholars Daniel Shealy and Joel Myerson:

  • How do Louisa May Alcott’s works reflect her interest in both public and individual reform?
  • Explore the range of genres Louisa May Alcott wrote in. What aspects of nineteenth-century culture stand out in her works?
  • How did the Transcendentalist ideas of Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau affect Alcott’s life and her fiction?
  • Louisa May Alcott developed as a writer during a time in which local color or regionalism became popular in fiction. How is nineteenth-century New England reflected in her work?
  • Louisa May Alcott was always interested in family relationships, but in many ways her ideas went beyond that of the traditional nuclear family. In what ways does one see Alcott interested in the non-traditional family?
  • Marriage is an important theme in Alcott’s work, from Little Women to Moods. What do her works tell one about her views of marriage?
  • Do you see anything of Little Women’s Jo March in any of Louisa May Alcott’s own short stories?