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Journal Article

Resentful "Little Women": Gender and Class Feeling in Louisa May Alcott

Stephanie Foote
College Literature
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Winter, 2005), pp. 63-85
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25115246
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Resentful "Little Women": Gender and Class Feeling in Louisa May Alcott
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Abstract

This essay looks at how dangerous and destructive emotions are figured in "Little Women". The novel is often read as negotiating a sentimental understanding of the relationship between the world and the home, but this essay argues that emotions like anger, resentment, and envy demonstrate that the family, rather than being the refuge from the market-driven pressures of the social world, or a testing ground for a better version of that world, is already saturated with its class and status distinctions. Tracking multiple scenes of the March girls' social humiliations and injuries, the essay links the emergence of affective definitions of class alongside business-like definitions of gender.

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