Greetings from the Beyond

You may recall the last post I wrote about Work: A Story of Experience where I reiterated the religious importance of this autobiographical novel by Louisa May Alcott.  I was moved by the consolation Christie Devon received as described in chapter 19, "Little Hearts-Ease." She heard husband David's "voice" as the breeze blew near his flute. …

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Wrapping up Work A Story of Experience: The Spiritual Subplot

I acknowledge that Work: A Story of Experience is an important feminist work (see previous post). It was groundbreaking in that respect and makes it a relevant book for today in understanding the condition of single working women in the nineteen century. Work would be an especially valuable read for women of the Millennial generation who …

A feminist manifesto: wrapping up Work A Story of Experience (part two)

“…Work is an expression of Alcott’s feminist principles and a major effort toward synthesizing in popular, readable form the broad set of beliefs encompassing family, education, suffrage, labor and the moral reform of social life that defined feminist ideology in the nineteenth century.” (pg. 191 from Critical Essays on Louisa May Alcott edited by Madeleine …

A tale of two books: wrapping up Work A Story of Experience (part one)

Several months ago I started reading Work: A Story of Experience, one of Louisa’s few adult novels. The story, like Little Women, is a thinly disguised, romanticized yet gritty autobiography coupled with wishes Louisa might have had regarding the course of her life. First, my impressions In this first of three planned posts on this …

Work: Finding religion

Chapter 9 of Work, A Story of Experience brings us face to face with another character based upon a real life person. The character is Rev. Thomas Power and the actual person is the Rev. Theodore Parker. The power of life's example In Work, Christie, very taken with Cynthy Wilkins’ optimistic view of life, fulfills …

Work: Marriage revisited – could there have been another reason why Louisa never married?

For someone who abhorred the idea of marriage for herself, Louisa May Alcott again and again paints a multi-layered, satisfying and mature picture of the institution. Raising an interesting question I wrote about this before, describing the first year of marriage between Meg and John Brooke in Little Women. I see it now in Work: …

Returning to “Work:” In and out of the mist – Louisa’s art reflects life

We return to a discussion of Work: A Story of Experience where chapter 7, "Through the Mist" marks a turning point in Christie's life. It is also a powerful and penetrating look inside the author who herself experienced a similar turning point. After numerous attempts to find meaningful work that she could sustain, and after …