Happiness and freedom are the two things that we all try to find. No matter how far we run away, it can only be found with someone that we care for. From the books of Louisa May Alcott, children through the ages have learnt the harsh truths of life without any bitterness that comes with it. Her words are so gentle and kind, as if a grandmother telling stories to her grandchildren embracing them in the warmth of her bosom.
Like her works which have inspired and motivated us and helped us facing our daily battles, she in her lifetime, helped numerous people, not only as a wartime nurse, but as the saying goes ‘charity begins at home‘― she was always there for her family. Through thick and thin, she stood by them, observed death and sorrow up close and still through her words she made her readers smile and laugh.
Usefulness above Happiness:
“Well, if I can’t be happy, I can be useful, perhaps.”Louisa May Alcott
One of those many great quotes by her that has people marvel over this hero of ours. How fortunate we are to have come across this great, admirable and awe-inspiring woman who practically has become a friend to all who has ever read her works. The more one reads, she seems so similar that slowly you would get pulled into her vortex of works. She has such an inspiring personality that no one, who has come across her plethora of books, would be able to deny her remarkable characteristics (since most of her lead is based on her.)
As a person growing up in so much pain, many times she thought of taking her life but then her duties were more to her than anything. She kept herself motivating by reminding that life is a battle and suicide is an act of a coward.
“So every day is a battle, and I’m so tired I don’t want to live; only it’s cowardly to die till you have done something.”Louisa May Alcott (Journal: May 1850)
She brought joy to others yet her happiness was being drained out of her year by year. She accepted the harshest of realities with calmness and fought them with patience, and thus even after more than a century she is being remembered and has become dearest to her admirers and devotees.
Be it as a child or as an adult, one must have read ‘Little Women‘ and if not, it is not too late and if you are not an avid reader like others a new movie with the same title is about to be released this Christmas directed by Greta Gerwig (director of award winning movie ‘Lady Bird‘). This is a semi-autobiographical story of Louisa May Alcott and her sisters. Some glimpses of the struggles she faced as a child and most importantly coping up with losing a loved one, has been weaved beautifully into the pages of the novel, for the entertainment of the young minds.
Though created for the mere purpose of entertainment but clearly, as every great author, she has shared, not one but quite a few of the morals she learned over her years, in the two part volume of the novel (my personal favourite being ‘Good Wives‘). Her way of depicting life and death became a signature style in her works. Everyone of her work created for young adults and adults contains hard-hitting facts about society and the culture of the time. More-over, her thoughts are still echoing well in the society as they are perfectly valid even in the present age.
Almost all of her books has a beautiful love story, yet none of those books are ever of romantic genre. Though her characters are sweet and loving, they are all built on strong morals and virtue and none of the characters end up in a dream ending, rather each story has a great moral ending and her characters make you ponder on various interesting topics. Her stories and truly addictive in the most genuine manner, they make you want to read more of her works.
The characters seem to be so real, at times it is hard to comprehend they are works of creation. In this note a beautiful and curious quote of Goethe can be stated: (Who is Goethe? Well, one of Miss Alcott’s Idol)
‘Few people have the imagination for reality.’Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Growing up in poverty did not stop her from enjoying the beauty of life. She found happiness in her family and seeing the smiles on their faces were the first and foremost ambition of her. She even gave up her happiness for her duties towards her family. She was the ‘man‘ of the Alcott family, who earned their daily bread and took out the Alcott’s from the hands of debts. Marriage was never in her mind and it could never have held back such a responsible person. She was a truly “Duties Faithful Child.” Though she found love many times but her love for her family was above everything.
Quite truly the women of this era can learn one or two things from this novel woman. I, personally, am in awe of this person ever since this May when I for the first time read her books. Though she lived more than a century ago yet somehow each and every word of her books emboldens the sprightly core of this new generation. She is a hero, in the truest sense of the word, to everyone who is fighting with the hardest obstacles of life in this present age.