Alcott And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Public Sphere: Identity, Privacy, And Publication In Louisa May Alcott's Little Women
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An aspect of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women that has not been examined is the tension between the public and private spheres within the text. Since the text is semi-autobiographical in nature, issues of public and private occur throughout Little Women where the March family, initially represented within an enclosure of domesticity, move into the public sphere around them. This movement alters the prevailing public discourse before ushering in a second movement: the drawing members of the public sphere into domesticity, adding new influences into the home. By analyzing settings of the novel and the personal journals of the author, complex issues of privacy, agency, and community emerge within Little Women that not only contribute to the separate spheres debate, but also reveal Alcott's place within the literary canon.