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Little Women

Little Women


by Louisa May Alcott

Analysis: Writing Style


Little Women may be a children's book, and it may have a fluffy, cozy, domestic feel. But Louisa May Alcott was the daughter of a well-read philosopher, and her command of language is impressive. She writes complex, balanced sentences and uses an advanced vocabulary without becoming difficult to understand. For example, when the narrator explains why May Chester is being rude to Amy at the fair, Alcott writes,

But the chief grievance that rankled in her soul, and gave an excuse for her unfriendly conduct, was a rumor which some obliging gossip had whispered to her, that the March girls had made fun of her at the Lambs." (30.3)

Alcott keeps her complex prose accessible by making sure that none of her sentences are too long and by using a lot of dialogue.

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