I began reading The Brothers thinking it would be similar to some of Louisa Alcott’s work I had read previously. I did not think I would actually learn a moral from the short tale. This story is heavily about human compassion and identifying with others perspectives. Alcott’s upbringing put life into the story. Louisa Alcott had volunteered to be a war nurse the year 1862. She is said to have done so shortly after reading about the suffering soldiers had to surpass.
This gave me insight as to her emotions at the time the war was going on, and also made me think of her as a courageous woman for devoting her time and energies to a noble cause. The work she did while in the military really helped further emphasize the countless tragedies a lot of the soldiers went through, and she went through her own tribulations through theirs. This really got to me into the story, and made it interesting for me as well. In the story, we read through Miss Dane’s perspective and we find that she is a war nurse, and sees death day in and out.
She also takes care of the soldiers by uplifting their spirits, much like Alcott did during the previously mentioned six weeks. We come across one of the main characters, Bob, who has no last name and is said to be extremely handsome. The way she admired his beauty was really striking to me. This is because at the time period, slaves/contrabands were seen with revulsion to most. The way she just out right says that he is handsome and expresses admiration for his looks was just bewildering to me.
It almost seemed as though she had a crush on him at different intervals, just by the way she wonders about his personal life, and speaks to him sometimes. As we get deeper into the story we find a really juicy plot twist-he wants to kill his brother-who Miss Dane is caring for. During this time Miss Dane’s realism comes out with comparisons she makes about how she would feel if it had been someone she knew, and she shows a deep level of humanity. Other than the heightened levels of compassion I want my classmates to really appreciate the values Alcott places on human emotions. I hope to convey this through my presentation.