What elements in Little Women make a classic novel?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Timelessness, universal themes, and communicating across cultures are all aspects of a classic novel.  Louisa May Alcott'sLittle Womenhas all three. 

Timelessness--  Although the story takes place during the American Civil War, the struggle of the March family has resonance with all ages, no matter the generation.  The novel centers on the characters who feel so real that the time period and circumstances hardly matter.

Universal Themes-- Little Womenis about family.  You can't get much more universal than that, but it's the way that Alcott has written the story about the March family that stays with the readers.  The March family through their trials and difficulties deal with issues that are common to most families:  forgiveness (Remember when Amy burns Jo's book, and how hard it was for Jo to forgive her?), acceptance, loyalty. 

Communicating across cultures-- A reader does not have to be a historian or a Civil War buff to enjoy Little Women; the core of values in this novel and the heart-warming story about finding love reaches far beyond its own cultural context.

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Little Women

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