If in Little Women, Alcott lays out what a good girl should aspire to—happiness and marriage—the book’s very existence demonstrates what an ambitious girl can hope to achieve: literary fame. It is, indeed, subversive, sustained by an almost unbearable tension between action and commentary and between its fiction and Alcott’s reality.
Really like this piece about Little Women, a story I have spent a lot of time in my life loving but not as much thinking about in any critical/contextual/historical way. I had chillbumps all the way through; not entirely sure why.
This piece is fantastic. (I feel really, really thoughtless for not making the Middlemarch connection earlier, because it is SO OBVIOUS. I’m floored. Or the Fruitlands connection, for that matter, considering I thought I wanted to research that entire circle at some point.)
(Another good piece on this, is, of course, the old Fine Lines column.)