I read Sally Walker’s article in the August, 1999 Chalcedon Report and have some comments. I think the article was really well written; but I had a hard time figuring out what her ultimate goal in writing it was. Plus, she used the words of the characters in Louisa May Alcott’s books, but she did not look at the actions of those characters. Although these women seemed like modern day feminists in what they said, they didn’t in their actions. Rose, in Rose in Bloom, did want to be independent; but she also was submissive to men and did things that were fitting for a woman to do. She wasn’t married and she was rich, so it was proper for her to go out in the world and try to make a difference. It was the same way with Jo before she married (although she was not rich). Jo went out and tried to earn a living doing jobs that are proper for women, such as being a companion, a teacher, and a writer. Once she married, she settled down and took care of her own children, in addition to taking other lost children into her own home and teaching them. Her husband helped her with this, so she wasn’t trying to be independent from him. I think Sally Walker had a good idea and was right in her theology, although a little idealistic, but she didn’t take all things into account.
She is right that Louisa May Alcott was a Transcendentalist but I don’t think that anyone reads her stories to gain great knowledge or for moral guidance.
- Rebekah Turnbaugh