Phelps's The Gates Ajar and Alcott's Little Women
Reexamining the concept of "home" in Phelps's The Gates Ajar and Alcott's Little Women, we can reevaluate these two bestsellers labeled as sentimental and moralistic: one is a largely forgotten literary work which conveys the religious message, the other a girls' story known as a masterwork of juvenile literature. Though they were totally different in their aims, the two New England female writers expressed in their novels the women's power which allowed them to transcend the boundaries of the domestic sphere. This new perspective of domesticity gained by Phelps and Alcott after the Civil War can be viewed as an important part of the movement for deconstructing the ideology of "women's sphere."
(Libra vol.2, pp.1-22, 2000)