Little Women challenged assumptions about women in nineteenth-century America. Marmee tells her daughters that they should not feel obligated to find husbands, but should seek fulfillment on their own. In chapter 9, she tells Meg and Jo:
My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world—marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. . . . [B]etter be happy old maids than unhappy wives, or...
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