The Middle Child In Little Women By Louisa May Alcott

Submitted By leeqhc10
Words: 646
Pages: 3

Liam Lewis 9/17/14
EG 101:90239 Compare/ Contrast

The Middle Child Comparison

Louisa May Alcott's novel, Little Women, takes place in Concord, Massachusetts in the mid-nineteenth century. The United States were in the middle of the Civil War. One family known as the March family were hit especially hard. Their father was sent off to battle and lost all of his wealth. He left a wife and four daughters at home. The begging of the story takes place in December, weeks before Christmas. The four daughters are having a discussion about hardships and their plans for Christmas. Throughout the discussion you can tell the difference in the girls personalities right away. The two middle children of the family, Jo and Beth, were close in age but had almost opposite personalities. Beth is a timid twelve year old and the younger of the two. She rarely voices her opinion; that could be caused by Jo being so outspoken. Beth is focused more on her school work than her social life. In the book Beth is home-schooled. The girls personality are the obvious difference in them but their age difference plays a big role too. Jo is going through puberty at age fourteen in the novel and begins to show that she is very complex individual. Given her lanky body and tomboy attitude she has referred to herself as, "The Man Of The House." She wants to be like her father and fight in the war until she received a letter from him in the end of the chapter telling her not too. Jo goes onto say, "I'll try and be what he loves to call me, "a little woman," and not be rough and wild; but to my duty here instead of wanting to be somewhere else." Jo then takes interest in one the boys from the Laurence family. This shows the sexual confusion of Jo that Beth has never felt because of the age difference. All that frustration about her body, father, and sexuality are all apart of Jo's temper, where Beth is a very content and quiet. The similarities of Jo and Beth are not as obvious but there are a lot of them. They both really care for about their families. While most of the other sisters are complaining about being poor, Beth quietly said, "We've got Father and Mother, and each other." Though Jo is known as an aggressive person, it mentions in the story that she was reading in