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Louisa May Alcott's Little Women as a Moral Guide Little Women was published in 1868, just a couple of short years after the Civil War which had devastated the country came to an end. People across the nation were hoping to come to terms of emancipation and its consequences, and many felt somewhat missing after witnessing the gruesome sectarian struggle. In Little Women, Louisa May Alcott tries to direct the nation's children through this delicate phase of social upheaval by giving them a moral guide to follow. The publication follows the four March sisters in their journey towards adulthood, but in the procedure, Alcott attempts to inculcate morals to the minds of those readers that are also struggling through the formative years of their lives. She does so by illustrating the ethical trials and triumphs of the March family. Though these girls are all basically good at heart, each includes a flaw she struggles to overcome. By highlighting their flaws as well as their assets, Alcott allows the reader to talk with the March girls, and because the Marches try so tough to fix their defects, the reader is motivated to fix her own flaws. Little Girls is clearly a piece of didactic literature, but Alcott believes its message is going to be better received if the viewer really enjoys studying it. She sets her book up as a behavioral guide to get her young readers in the preface, in which she expects that it will be equally entertaining and morally enlightening for your reader: Go then, my little book, and show to all That entertain and bid thee welcome will, What thou dost keep close shut up in thy breast; And with what thou dost show them may be blest To them for good, may make them choose to be ...