Little Women is set in the 1860s in a New England town modeled on Concord, Massachusetts. Most of the action in Part I revolves around the March family home. With Father away, serving as a clergyman for soldiers fighting in the Civil War, the four daughters and their mother remain at home, struggling to live as comfortably as possible under the circumstances. Because Father lost most of his income helping an “unfortunate friend,” the March girls-none of whom had expected to pursue careers-work feverishly to support the family and, in the process, confront conflicts between domestic duties and independence. The setting broadens in Part II as Alcott describes the girls’ travels away from home and their eventual marriages.

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