Little Women’s Rediscovery: An Emerging Women’s Rights Struggle in Pakistan

Imran Ali


A reflection of Alcott’s time and personal life, Little Women (1868-69) mirrors the contemporary American women’s question in nuanced ways. As a family drama, the novel encapsulates many versions of contemporary women in its depiction of Mrs. March and her four daughters—Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy—and through them explores women’s social, personal, marital, economic, and political constraints. Having had a warm critical reception in its own time, the novel was globally re-accredited in the 1960s for its powerful feminist call. As it has in many other countries, the text has recently gained popularity in Pakistan, where it is enlightening the emerging  women’s rights struggle in the country. This study rediscovers the text through the lenses of New Historicism, Historical Reception, and Feminism: why Alcott wrote it; how the public/critics received it; how it contributed a change to the women’s position; and how it could repeat the same role of critiquing patriarchy in Pakistan.


 Keywords: Rediscovery, women’s question, late 19th-century, Pakistani-women, feminism

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