The Home Theme
In Little Women, the home is more than a house where you sleep at night. The domestic sphere provides a moral center for men and women alike, and a comfortable home, full of love, is depicted as the basic unit of a stable society. As children grow up, they learn to contribute to the comfort and structure of the family home, which prepares them to develop homes of their own once they marry and "leave the nest." According to this view, joyless or unhappy homes are the root of most of the problems in the world.
Questions About The Home
- What makes the March family home so attractive to Laurie? What do Marmee and her daughters have that the Laurences are lacking?
- What is Hannah's contribution to the March family home? Would they be able to get by without a servant?
- How does Beth's affinity for housework and homemaking contribute to her importance as a character?
- How does the home that Meg and John establish contrast with the home in which Meg grew up? Is Meg turning into Marmee, or is she a different kind of wife and mother?
Chew on This
In Little Women, the establishment of a comfortable, cozy domestic space by women exerts a positive moral influence on the men in their lives.
Marmee teaches her girls to carry within them all the principles they need to create homes and homelike spaces wherever they go.