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Flick or Flip: Little Women

By Allie Reczek

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Welcome to Falvey’s Flick or Flip? My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore undergrad at Villanova. For this blog, I will pick a book that has been turned into a movie, and argue which I thought was better.

In this week’s edition of Flick or Flip, I am discussing Little Women. The book, written by Louisa May Alcott, was originally published in 1868 and 1869 in two separate parts. It follows the lives of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they navigate adolescence and growing up in Reconstruction Era America. The first part takes place in the girls’ youth, and then the second part begins several years after the first concludes, opening with Meg’s wedding day. 

This timeline was possibly the greatest difference between the film and the book. Instead of being told over one continuous stretch of time, the movie jumps between the childhood and young-adult scenes to show parallels and how the girls’ life has changed over time.

Because this book is typically intended for younger audiences, I didn’t find the childhood section of the novel compelling, due to the repetitive lessons that the girls learn and then quickly forget. These moral lessons were mostly eliminated from the film adaptation (which I appreciated), leaving only the important plot points and a much more captivating story for adults (who presumably no longer need to learn lessons about greed and jealousy). 

In part two of the novel, Amy travels to Europe, Jo spends time in New York, Meg raises her twins, and Beth catches a fatal illness. While all of these major events occur in the movie, their order is scattered around and many details are left out. Of course, not everything from the book could be kept in the adaptation. However, it felt like there were different motivations for the girls’ actions because of the changes in the movie adaptation.

Overall, I loved both versions of Little Women. Yet, I found the movie to be more relatable to people my age and more engaging. Director Greta Gerwig did an Oscar-worthy job of making this beloved story into a piece that shows the struggles and joys of life in the late 1800s through the eyes of bright female minds. She brought themes of feminism into the twenty-first century and created something that I believe women of any age can find very relevant and approachable. Of course, I highly recommend both reading and viewing Little Women, but being able to see these classic characters develop and become successful individuals in their own ways makes the movie stand out. 

So, Flick or Flip?

FLICK


Hi! My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore Psychology Major. I work as a Marketing and Communication Assistant in Falvey. Hope you enjoy this blog! Have any flips or flicks I should debate in the future? Message @villanovalibrary on Instagram or tweet us @FalveyLibrary!


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Last Modified: January 31, 2020