Anyway, Ruth Graham at DoubleX has a great piece pegged to the existance of a kind of Louisa-hoopla in American culture.
Her piece focuses on the author's struggle--so evident in her books for young girls--between her fiery radical feminist side and a moral duty side. Alcott had a genuine wish to reign in her ambitions and needs in the service of the people and ideals she loved, even those who took advantage of her. Writes Graham:
That idea of compromising—expecting less, accepting fate—is one that shows up frequently in Alcott’s work, and throughout her life. As John Matteson pointed out in his 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and her Father, most of Alcott's heroines, including all four March sisters and many other lesser-known characters, respond to life's challenges not by speaking up for their needs, but by learning to tamp down their own desires.Alcott saw sacrifice as part of a worthwhile life—even at the expense of self-expression and fulfillment.
Well worth a read. On another note, this radical feminist still wishes Jo and Laurie had found a way to make it work, though if the rascally heir had reformed his ways post first proposal and made a second go of it, that would probably have turned Little Women into Pride and Prejudice II: Boston Nights. (Seriously, f*** Amy, that little man-stealing brat!)