Little Women in Novel and Film

Compares the book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott to the 1933 and 1994 film versions of the novel.

This paper examines the book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, and how this text relates to the films made in 1933 and 1994. By showing the elements of the text, the paper reveals how the movies that have been made differ from the original book by Alcott. The paper focuses on the characterization of Jo and how her overly feminist presentation in the films present her as something less of a ‘tomboy’ than how Alcott portrays her. The paper clearly shows how the film was manipulated to lighten up the real gender problems that the characters are faced with.
“In the 1933 film entitled Little Women, we can see the major aspects of the film that do not go along with the original book written by Alcott. We can see a manner of characterization that is portrayed by actor Katherine Hepburn, as she portrays a rather over dramatic version of the tomboy Jo Marsh. For instance, we can see the scene in Chapter Three of Aclott’s book to reveal how Jo March is clearly not as feminine as the rest of her sisters. Meg tries to help her get dressed nicely, but she looks awkward. Meg proceeded to dance and to socialize, while Jo stood next to the wall. When she thought someone was going to ask her to dance, she slipped into a curtained alcove. Hiding already in the alcove was a young man who lived next store to the March’s with his grandfather. He introduced himself to her as Laurie, though his given name was Theodore. He and Jo talked for a while, and eventually danced in the hall as to not display Jo’s dress, which was not in the best shape Meg found them there. However, in the movie, the glamour that Jo exudes in Hepburn’s appearance looks very ‘Hollywood’ as she is presented with a very nice dress, more so than Alcott’s frumpy dress for Jo. By this manner of presentation, we can see how Hollywood designed the dress to look glamorous to appeal to the audience expectations of ‘lady hood’, even though Jo is supposed to be a tomboy. This is one major difference between the film, and the text by Alcott.”

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