‘Little Women’ and its relevance to contemporary society

The cinematic remake of Little Women since its predecessor in 1994 is set to screen in theatres from December to January, depending on where you live.

What’s fascinating is that the novel was penned down by Louisa May Alcott in 1869 but has been talked about and adapted into cinema to the present day. But why this book? How could a book be relatable for 150 years? And what does this say about feminism today and its relevance?

Feminism seems like a millennial topic. But it is works like Little Women that point to feminism’s long battle. Unlike the 1800s, there is more freedom in contemporary society to discuss feminism; our expectations and demands for change have altered drastically but the root of this has remained constant. Maybe this is why artists and playwriters and directors like to pick it up. There is always relevance to it.

But why is it still relevant? Maybe we are not that far ahead in terms of feminism as we think. The book is continuously described as being ahead of its time. But while we are ahead in time, the battles of feminism still prevail. Our battle is still ongoing.

The book celebrates so many aspects from a female perspective. The hardships and joys that women go through together. The quest to find love in work and life and men. The jealousy and insecurity women experience while they watch other passionate women succeed. But ultimately understanding each other and embracing friendship.

The story is about the four March sisters. All whimsical and ambitious. Today we put the words “Sisterhood is Global” on a t-shirt and stand by it. Sisterhood is growing, to cultivate this environment that reassures women that they have a platform and they have other women who will understand and support them. It is a confidence booster for a woman to have this reassurance.

Greta Gerwig, known for her academy award nominated movie ‘Ladybird’, is the director of the film. The cast is star studded with Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, James Norton, and Meryl Streep. These big name and dreamy faces (Timothee Chalamet) are influential people in their platform.

Emma Watson in particular, who has been a prominent pioneer for feminism and who has spent the last few years really advocating for it through her “He for She” campaigns and powerful speeches at the United Nations is a particularly interesting cast member.

While Little Women was penned in 1869, its relevance remains in today’s society. There is still a push for gender equality and the importance of sisterhood is a great a need today as it was 150 years ago.

 

Illustration: Paula Convery

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The Student Newspaper 2016