Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Following the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—the novel details their passage from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Scholars classify Little Women as an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical novel.
Little Women has been read as a romance or as a quest, or both. It has been read as a family drama that validates virtue over wealth, but also as a means of escaping that life by women who knew its gender constraints only too well. Alcott created a new form of literature, one that took elements from Romantic children's fiction and combined it with others from sentimental novels, resulting in a totally new format.
Within Little Women can be found the first vision of the "All-American girl" and that her various aspects are embodied in the differing March sisters.
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