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"At Home We Work Together"

Title: "At Home We Work Together": Domestic Feminism and Patriarchy in Little Women.
Name(s): Wester, Bethany S., author
Moore, Dennis, professor directing dissertation
Edwards, Leigh, committee member
Fenstermaker, John, committee member
Program in American and Florida Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2005
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: For 136 years, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women has remained a classic in American children's literature. Although Alcott originally wrote the novel as a book for young girls, deeper issues run beneath the surface story of the March family. This thesis explores a few of these issues. Chapter One examines the roles of patriarchy and domesticity in Alcott's private life and in Little Women. Chapter Two emphasizes the Transcendentalist thinking that surrounded Alcott in her childhood, her own, feminized Transcendentalist philosophy, and how it subsequently infiltrates the novel. Chapter Three explores the role of the struggling female artist in Little Women, as portrayed by the March sisters, especially Jo and Amy March, and how the fictional characters' struggles reflect Alcott's own problems as a female writer in a patriarchal society. Chapter Four discusses Alcott's reformist ideas and the reformist issues that surface in Little Women. Domestic feminism--the idea that a reformed family, in which men and women equally participate in domestic matters, would lead to a reformed society--emerges as the predominant reformist issue in Little Women. Alcott believed that women should be able to choose the course of their adult lives, whether that included marriage, a professional career, or otherwise, without the threat of being ostracized from society. In Little Women, the March family serves as an example of a reformed, egalitarian family in which women exercise self-reliance, employ their non-domestic talents, and still maintain femininity.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1144 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis Submitted to the Program in American and Florida Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2005.
Date of Defense: March 23, 2005.
Keywords: Transcendentalism, Woman's Rights, Patriarchy, Domesticity, Domestic Feminism, Women Artists
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Dennis Moore, Professor Directing Dissertation; Leigh Edwards, Committee Member; John Fenstermaker, Committee Member.
Subject(s): United States -- Study and teaching
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

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Wester, B. S. (2005). "At Home We Work Together": Domestic Feminism and Patriarchy in Little Women. Retrieved from