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psychoceramics: Louisa May Alcott, Despoiler of Children's Minds

Louisa May Alcott, evil Pot Pusher, Trancendentalist, and (!?) 

                             Louisa May Alcott


 Louisa May Alcott is considered by many people to be an excellent
        children's story writer.  Her book Little Woman is considered a
classic and has been very popular for years.  It has been made into a movie
on several occasions which has added to it's fame.

But, was Miss Alcott really a person that you should trust with your
children's minds?  After all, the author of a book for children is putting
things into their minds.  This can be used for the glory of God, or it can
be used for the world, the flesh and the devil.  Romans 8:6 For to be
carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the
law of God, neither indeed can be.

We have already mentioned the fact that L.M. Alcott put profanity and
blasphemy of God in her books.  (See: What Shall We Then Read?)  This of
course is enough, but why would she put such things in her stories for
children anyway?

An Unworthy Foundation

To begin with, we find in an article entitled "The Thrill of the Chase" by
Enrica Gadler, assistant editor at Random House, that Louisa May Alcott's
father was a "Transcendentalist philosopher."  Amos Bronson Alcott, had an
"interest in Eastern religion and philosophy." Louisa May's sympathy for
her father's doctrines of devils is shown in the reference to "the spirited
correspondence of young Louisa May, who affectionately tweaked her father's
metaphysical ponderings by quipping in one letter: 'I have not seen my
honored Pa today, and know nothing of his engagements, but if you have
written he will emerge from his communings with the Oversoul long enough to
respond, I trust.'"  Although she teased him about his beliefs, she
nevertheless "shared many of her father's views."  Luke 6:45 A good man out
of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an
evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is
evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Louisa's father tried to live his beliefs, with tragic results for his
family.  We find in one article that "Alcott's father, Bronson, was a
philosopher and educational reformer whose idealistic projects kept the
family in poverty; financial security did not come until 'Little Women'."
(1) Thus, we see that Louisa helped support the family in the place of her
father who was too taken with his devilish distractions to care for his own
wife and children.  Her mother also worked to help support the family.
 "Abigail May Alcott - Bronson's wife, was foremost a homemaker but was
also frequently the breadwinner for the family." (3)  1 Timothy 5:8 But if
any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he
hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

>From Reactives as Incorporated into the American Myth (2) we learn "Louisa
May Alcott...followed her parents' Transcendental teachings while grounding
them in reality, saying of her impractical, intellectual father that he was
'a man up on a balloon,' and resolving 'to take Fate by the throat and
shake a living out of her (Strauss & Howe, 211).'"

Notice the reference to "Fate" and that she called it a "her."  No
acknowledgement of God is evident here at all.

One of her father's follies was an attempt at communal living at a farm
called "Fruitllands."  (An appropriate name no doubt for such a fruit.)  We
read in a description of the place as a tourist attraction, "In 1843,
Bronson Alcott moved with his family and fellow believers (of
Transcendentalism) to this remote farmhouse to start a utopian community
called the Con-Sociate Family on the Fruitlands.  Seeking perfection based
on Christian teachings and the innate goodness of the human soul, they
practiced a strict vegetarian diet and held regular philosophic
discussions. This experiment in idealistic living (by the fruits of the
land) was influential, yet short-lived (seven months)." (3)

Notice the attempted mixture of Hinduism, Christianity and Humanism.  The
"seeking perfection" and "vegetarian diet" relating to Hinduism, the
"innate goodness" and "philosophic discussions" relating to Humanism, and
the "Christian teachings" relating to Christianity.  What a mess!
 Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.  This lump was
mostly leaven!

Louisa May Alcott also had associations that were not of good reputation
from a Biblical perspective.  Among the Alcott family's friends we find
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne,and Henry David Thoreau. Emerson
actually helped support the Alcott family by helping with housing.  L.M
"Alcott first met Thoreau when she was just eight years old and living in
Concord, where he was her teacher." (4)   She wrote a poem entitled
"Thoreau's Flute" after his death.  The fact that the Alcotts had such men
as these as friends indicates their taste for the ungodly.  Their
friendships were obviously not for the sake of the gospel. Louisa May
Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson are both on lists of famous Unitarians(5)
which was in keeping with her degenerate mind.  Proverbs 20:11 Even a child
is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
 How much more so a grown woman that wrote stories for children.

The Product

In light of these things, it is not so very amazing that Miss Alcott's
writing should be of the sort that it is. They are revolting in their
content and it is grievous that she is considered an acceptable author for
children's reading.  Let's consider some of the things which she has

First of all, we have Little Women itself.  This book is said to contain
the story of the Alcott family, though hardly an accurate and realistic
one.  The poverty of the March family is not portrayed as the result of a
nut who couldn't support his family due to his preoccupation with
Transcendentalism.  In fact, the March family is portrayed as almost
Christian, which is far from the truth about the Alcott family.  Also, we
find "Jo", the equivilant of Louisa May, going out on her own and earning a
living, in part to help support the family.  This is certainly not the sort
of book that girls and young ladies should be reading to prepare them to be
content as home makers.    Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they
be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much
wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be
sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet,
chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the
word of God be not blasphemed.  Miss Alcott was certainly not teaching this
to her young readers!  She was promoting feminism in this book as she did
also in the incorrectly titled book, An Old Fashioned Girl.

The next book, Little Men, is actually a story of what might be
the"wish-it-were-so" variety.  Here Alcott uses the Fruitland failure to
make up the Plumbfield household, a sort of boarding school/orphanage that
is co-educational.  One of the great themes of the book is humanism, that
the bad boys and girls can be made good by loving them and having a
positive influence on them.  (Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the
heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.)

In Chapter XV ("In The Willow") of Little Men we find the character "Demi"
telling "Dan" about how he controls the bad in himself. Demi says, "I play
that my mind is a round room, and my soul is a sort of creature with wings
that lives in it. The walls are full of shelves and drawers, and in them I
keep my thoughts, and my goodness and badness, and all sorts of things.
 The goods I keep where I can see them, and the bads I lock up tight, but
they get out, and I have to keep putting them in and squeezing them down,
they are so strong...Every Sunday I put my room in order, and talk with the
little spirit that lives there, and tell him what to do.  He is very bad
sometimes, and won't mind me, and I have to scold him and take him to
grandpa." [Presumably "March" being the equivilant of Bronson Alcott with
his eastern ideas.]  "He always makes him behave, and be sorry for his
faults, because grandpa likes this play, and gives me nice things to put in
the drawers, and tells my how to shut up the naughties."  Notice the
complete lack of God and anything Christian at all.  The idea is that we
can make ourselves good, and if we have trouble we can get help from other
humans.  This is gross, agnostic Humanism.  And, the idea of a soul being a
winged creature smacks of paganism and devils.

Continuing in Chapter XV we discover Alcott's "plan of salvation."  We find
"Mrs. Jo" telling "Dan" that she wants him to teach "Demi" what he knows
about nature.  Dan is surprised at this as he is a boy that has evil habits
that he has been trying to stop.  This trust by Mrs. Jo, due to his
progress, is portrayed as reaching the tender heart he has under his rough
exterior.  We read that "...no more powerful restraint could have been
imposed upon him than the innocent companion confided to his care."  Now,
we are familiar with the adage that "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch."
 This idea that Alcott is presenting here is not only anti-Biblical, it is
contrary to a basic understanding of human nature that even unsaved people
recognize.  When you entrust an unsaved child that is basically innocent
and naive to an unsaved child that has been well versed in the ways of
evil, the one that has been exposed to evil will at least tell the other
child things that it should not hear.  How many kids over the centuries
have gone bad because evil was introduced to them by other kids?!  So, we
see that Alcott substituted the responsibility for an innocent child for
the work of the Holy Ghost and a new nature.  If her idea was correct, then
the best remedy for Hitler, Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper, Mao Tsetung
and all would have been to have an innocent child placed in their care.  1
Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good

Reading further, her rebellion against God's plan of salvation is made even
clearer.  We read about Dan, "He felt that he had friends now and a place
in the world, something to live and work for, and, though he said little,
all that was best and bravest in a character made old by a hard experience
responded to the love and faith bestowed on him, and Dan's salvation was
assured." (Emphasis added.)  So, according to Louisa May, salvation is won
by having a place in the world, friends, having love and faith bestowed
upon one and responding to it positively.  One can almost hear Robert
Schuyler saying "You have possibilities!" or the serpent in the garden
saying  "...ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

There are other objectionable things in the book to say the least, and
among them we find some of the children inventing an invisible spirit that
they must obey called "The Naughty Kitty-mouse."  Demi, on supposedly
overhearing a conversation or lesson regarding the way some ancients
worship their gods, is inspired to have a sacrifice to the "Kitty-mouse" in
which he and three others sacrifice their favorite toys on an altar.  This
is a disgusting thing to put in a children's book!  There is no call to
even suggest such things to children's minds, especially in the context of
"play," "humor," and "fun."  It does show, however, the pagan mindset of
Louisa May Alcott.  Allowing your children's minds to be programmed with
such refuse is contrary to scripture.  Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in
perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

In the short story "The Brothers" about two brothers in a Civil War
hospital we find more evidence of her depraved view of salvation.  The
story relates a tale about a white brother and a half black one that end up
in the same area of a hospital. The black one tries to murder the white one
for a grudge.  The nurse talks him out of it and the white brother lives.
 The black one is then sent away and this scene is penned by Alcott:

The black man says,  " 'I'm glad I didn't do it, an' I thank yer, Ma'am,
fer hinderin' me,--thank yer hearty; but I'm afraid I hate him jest the

"Of course he did; and so did I; for these faulty hearts of ours cannot
turn perfect in a night, but need frost and fire, wind and rain, to ripen
and make them ready for the great harvest-home. Wishing to divert his mind,
I put my poor mite into his hand, and, remembering the magic of a certain
little book, I gave him mine, on whose dark cover whitely shone the Virgin
Mother and the Child, the grand history of whose life the book contained.
The money went into Robert's pocket with a grateful murmur, the book into
his bosom with a long look ..." (7)

Here we see again the Humanistic religion of the soul becoming better and
going to heaven with out God's help at all.  She preaches that we can reach
perfection through our suffering.  Also, notice the Catholic like
superstition about the Bible. She does not even name it but calls it a
magic "certain little book," uses the Roman title Virgin Mother, and does
not name the Lord Jesus Christ either, but calls Him "the Child."  His life
is a "grand history," not the way of salvation, and is "contained" in the
book.  The book is not the Book of Life to her, but an inspiring, magical
story about a Child and Virgin Mother!  To us this Book is far more!!  To
us it is the very means by which we are saved (John chapter 1). 1 Peter
1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by
the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Moving on to the more offensive material (yes it gets worse!) we find that
Alcott wrote trash stories in order to help support her family.  Among
these is a novel that is gaining some notice these days.  It is called A
Long Fatal Love Chase and the title alone gives a clue to the decadent
content of this book.  The story is about a young woman named Rosamond who
declares that she is often willing to sell her "soul to Satan" to have a
year of freedom.  On this auspicious note the book starts it's gruesome
descent.  The plot includes adultery, murder and what today would be called
"stalking." Naturally, it ends fatally.  It is described by Enrica Gadler
thus,  "The magazine editor who commissioned A Long Fatal Love Chase asked
that Alcott make 'each second chapter so absorbingly interesting that the
reader will be impatient for the next,' and Alcott obliged with the story
of the orphaned Rosamond, who falls in love with the brooding, seductive
Phillip Tempest...She marries him, flees after she discovers his dangerous
nature and amoral past, and is pursued by him right up to the book's
dramatic conclusion. The manuscript was eventually turned down by Alcott's
publisher for being 'too sensational,' but today its themes of obsessive
love, domination, and psychological motivation strike close to home."(6)
Note that the story was considered too racy in Alcott's day by a publisher
of trash!

Miss Alcott also wrote short stories to make money.  (1 Timothy 6:10 For
the love of money is the root of all evil...) These included horror stories
and thrillers that are being brought back into print.  (To see reviews of
the books containing these as well as A Long Fatal Love Chase, please see
the Amazon book page at :
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ats-query/8812-4317112-799075 and
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0679445102/7059-0535668-048768)  The
women in some of these short stories are described as "naughty" and the
stories as "gruesome."  It might be of interest to point out that at least
some of these stories were written before Little Women, showing that she
didn't just "go bad" later.  These sort of stories had gone before and had
been produced before or at the same time as the "sweet" Little Women.
 Proverbs 23:6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither
desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.  We can
surely see that Louisa May Alcott's heart was not with the young "innocent"
girls that she seemed to write Little Woman and other stories for.
 Mothers, please, do not let your girls partake of the "dainty meats" of
this evil eyed, evil hearted woman!

The last, and perhaps the most dangerous, of her writings that I would
bring your attention is a short story that falls into the category of her
romance stories.  "Perilous Play" is the tale of a group of dissipated,
rich, young people that find themselves bored and seeking some new and
unusual entertainment.  A young doctor in their midst obliges their lust by
introducing them to hashish (hemp, marijuana).  Two of the group refuse to
eat the candy in which the drug is contained, but the others accept it.
 The reader discovers later that the two who refused each ate their share
secretly.  The results of this are given, and some small mention is made as
to it being foolish of them.  After being caught in a storm and each
"confessing" their "love" for the other as being their reason for taking
the drug, they barely manage to bring the sail boat that they are in to
safety when they are caught in a storm.  So, the outcome of the story is
that the boy gets the girl, thanks to hashish.  The final line in the story
ends thus,  "He stretched his hand to her with his heart in his face, and
she gave him hers with a look of tender submission, as he said ardently,
'Heaven bless hashish, if its dreams end like this!'"  We see the end
result being not only good, but heaven blessed.  The message is that if a
shy young person wants to win their true "love" they definitely ought to
try hashish!  How horrible! How can we, as Christians, approve of the
writings of such a degraded woman?!  We cannot!!

(Here is the whole story --"Perilous Play" (1869)  (8) for those that need
to read it to be convinced of the wretchedness of this woman.)

In conclusion, we find Louisa May Alcott believing many evil things.  We
find her "preaching" her pagan, humanistic beliefs in her "good" stories,
and living these amoral beliefs out in the writing of the trash stories.
 In light of the scriptures, this woman's books ought not be used in a
Christian home (except if they are needed to prove her wickedness to
others). They certainly are not good as literature for young people by any
stretch of the imagination!  1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold
fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.