I do apologize for not writing on this blog in a few days. Now on to todays’ post.
I have often stayed up late to finish reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, or another of her books. I love the way she wrote, so clear and comforting. Most of us have read her books, especially the classics like Little Women and Little Men.
However it seems in most of her books, someone..umm..dies. Usually it’s a character that we, through her creative descriptions and word design, have come to know and love.
**Warning possible spoilers below**
Take Little Women: After casting her as the gentle soul, who would do anything for her family and friends, Beth dies. Now I understand that this story was based loosely on Alcott’s own family, so perhaps this literary death was unavoidable.
But in Little Men, she kills off another main character, John Brooke. Eldest sister Meg’s husband played a major role in the first book, as he was only one of a small handful of male characters in a story mostly about sisters. He was the first to be brought into the family, as Meg was the first to get married. So it comes as a bit of a shock in the book, when he is killed off after suffering injuries in an accident.
In the a fore mentioned Eight Cousins, she sets up all of the seven boy cousins as fun loving, adventures boys, who quite frankly sound like they would be really great guys. Cast in a special light is “Prince”, or Charlie Campbell, he is said to be the most handsome, persuasive, and “an extra fine boy”.
Then in the books’ sequel Rose In Bloom, Charlie falls for Rose, the heroine of the first book (and his cousin, but we’ll excuse that since this was the 1800’s), and wants to marry her. But alas, Rose only loves him as a sister and not as a potential husband, which causes them both much grief and heartache. This sad situation (yes there will be tears), is finally resolved. But only when poor Charlie is killed off after falling off his horse, onto the rocks, while riding in a rainstorm.
All of this makes me wonder, as it is said that writers succeed best when they write what they know. Hopefully this does not mean that Louisa May Alcott had to deal with so much death and sadness, that she had no choice but to include it in her books.
Reading someone’s book is like looking into their life, because a certain amount of us comes through in all of our writing. Maybe death was something she had learned to live with, or maybe the stories just worked out that way. Just thinking.