An Analysis of Feminism Against the Background of Patriarchy in Little Women毕业论文

 2021-04-07 04:04

摘 要





Acknowledgements ii

English Abstract iii

Chinese Abstract iv

  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 2
    1. Development of and Relationship between Feminism and Patriarchy 2
      1. The theoretical basis of patriarchy-Liberal Feminism 2
      2. Patriarchy as an important component-Social Feminism 3
      3. Comprehensive diffusion of Patriarchy-Radical Feminism 4
    2. Feminist Consciousness 4
      1. View about Marriage 4
      2. View about Family 6
      3. View about Career 8
  3. Conclusion 9

Works Cited 11

Bibliography 12

An Analysis of Feminism Against the Background of Patriarchy in Little Women


Little Women, which is viewed as a novel for young readers, has been popular since it was published in 1868. Its author, Louisa May Alcott, is one of the best-known American female writers of juvenile literature in the 19th century. Alcott was born in 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts. She was the second of four daughters: Anna Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Sewall Alcott and Abigail May Alcott .

With the access to the family friends like Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller, Alcott was instructed by these distinguished writers and educators, but she was unconventionally educated mainly by her father. Since accepting the family education and edification, Alcott had been keen on literature at a very young age.

Since she was young , Alcott had had to go out for work to help support the family. As is known, Alcott originally decided to begin writing just for living.

At the age of 35, Alcott was recommended by the publisher to write a book about “girls”, and unexpectedly, the book turned out to be the most successful work of her literary life. At first when Alcott was asked to write a novel for girls, she declined the request because she preferred boys. When she was a little girl, she would rather run around wildly than behave in a “girl” way. However, because of financial difficulties, she wrote it reluctantly.

In 1868, Little Women came out, which earned her both money and fame. Little Women tells the story of the March family of Concord, Massachusetts. The father Mr. March is away from home with the army, leaving Mrs. March and four daughters

home. The family women had to manage life on their own. Based on the real life of Alcott, the story is mainly about the daily lives of the four girls with very different characteristics: beautiful Meg, boyish Jo, gentle Beth, vain Amy, who were created based on the prototype of the Alcott sisters. Female struggle can be seen in the story of the March women. New women with the awareness of self-identity, independence, equality and sense of family responsibility were set up by the author.

Little Women plays an critical role in encouraging young women to pursue their own dreams and happiness. Due to its literary charms, Little Women has been cherished by generations of female readers, and it has been translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies all over the world.

The novel is filled with the feminist ideas and it plays an important role in supporting females to fight for their dreams and happiness. That is why I choose this as my topic.

The thesis is divided into three parts. First of all, the author gives a brief introduction to the experience of Alcott , the background of Little Women. In the second part, the author shows the development of feminism and patriarchy and the relationship between these two ideologies. And then, through the analysis of the March sisters’ view about marriage, family and career, the author demonstrates the feminist consciousness in the work. In the last part, the conclusion summarizes the thesis and emphasizes Alcott’s contributions to the feminist movement.


    1. Development of and Relationship between Feminism and Patriarchy
      1. The Theoretical Basis of Patriarchy - Liberal Feminism

Liberal Feminism is the earliest school of feminism. As the name suggests, Liberal Feminism is a natural extension of liberalism in the field of gender. Liberal

feminists hold that, as half of the human race, women should be given the opportunity to develop their potential, and women should have equal opportunities of competition with men.

Li Yinhe holds that Liberal feminists advocate equal rights for men and women in the current system, that is men and women enjoy equal opportunities, and that, after the fight for equality of legal rights, the rest depends on the efforts of individual woman. (李, 1997)

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