Little Women,
Cultural assumption 1

In class this term, I've been reading the book Little Women and I've realised that during the American Civil War women were expected to behave in a certain way and live every day with a certain standard. In the 1860s, in America, poorer families were marginalised. The rules that society put on them was that the rich women had to dress in high fashion dresses and they had to go to most occasions with their husbands they often employed poorer women to do their housework and look after their children. But, the poorer women had completely different rules to the rich, they had to wear the Victorian style clothing, long dresses, bonnets and hair tied up, they were not aloud to vote, they didn't need an education. Young girls wore similar clothing but their hair could be worn down or in pigtails.

Jo March , the main character, comes from a poorer family and she refues to dress like young girls should and refuses to behave like a girl. "Im not a young lady!" snapped Jo "I'd hate to think I'll grow up into a proper young girl who wears long gowns and is as proud as a peacock. Its bad enough being a girl when I really prefer boys games and the work they do. I'll never get over the disappointment on discovering I was a girl and not a boy! Im just dying to go and join father on the battlefield!!"

Jo wishes she was a boy and she wants all classes to be treated equally. I agree with Jo, I think it is unfair that the women are treated differently depending on what class they are in and their gender, just because the richer women wear higher fashion dresses, doesnt mean they are better then the poor.  

Throughout the book Alcott, the author, challenges this cultural assumption by having the main character Jo refuse to dress the way that she should dress and behave.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

The cultural assumption being discussed is conformity. The theme/ assumption is clearly discussed in the examples which is good. The examples help me to understand the assumption, and make it evident that the assumption is true. You put the theme being represented by the character Jo which made the message more understandable, which was good again. The assumption was linked well and you explained the time period that the novel was based around so I could understand the context of the novel. I couldn't find who the author was, but based on your description, it is clear that he/she was challenging the assumption. Overall it was a good blog post :)