What are some of the literary techniques in Louisa May Alcott's story Little Women?
Some of the literary techniques in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women include allusion, sentiment, characterization, and archetypes to create a novel easily relatable to a young audience. On a more granular level, she employs literary devices such as similes, metaphors, personification, and imagery to bring her scenes vividly to life.
Alcott employs the literary device of allusion, using John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress as the frame for her own novel. As in Bunyan's allegorical work, where the aptly named Christian embarks on a moral journey to spiritual maturity, the four March sisters also journey to maturity, becoming little women. To emphasize the connection to the earlier work, Alcott has Marmee give each of the girls a children's version of Pilgrim's Progress as a Christmas gift early in the novel and says she hopes they will take its lessons to heart. To underline that the moral lessons learned parallel Bunyan's book, chapters are named after the allegory , such as Vanity Fair ("Meg Goes to Vanity Fair") and the Valley of the Shadow of Death (Amy's Valley of Humiliation"). The lessons, however, are updated and made relevant to mid-nineteenth century girls: for example, in Alcott's version of Vanity Fair, Meg allows her rich friends to dress her up as a "fashion plate" for a dance, only to be humiliated when Laurie...
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