The two novels, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, explore the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and the way each deals with the other in light of societal changes.
Both mothers encourage their children to work hard, be smart and make their own way to happiness despite the preset societal expectations. However, the two different models of mother-daughter relationship define the route each must take in order to reach her destiny.
The mother-daughter relationship in Little Women has the element of a deep-founded understanding between the two (staff.wwcc.edu, n. pag.). The novel revolves around four sisters, and their mother, Marmee, who live against all odds and struggle through their individual lives, all the while helping each other, to live up to their dreams. Jo looks up to her mother, who manages the whole March household single-handedly in the absence of her husband, and through her, learns to be independent just like her, and to hold her head high despite all deprivations and calamities of life, always aware that her mother would always be there for her in times of need.
The novel was written in 1868, a period when marriage and family were the only options available to a woman (Elbert, 1). ...