Social Conflict In Louisa May Alcott's An Old Fashioned Girl

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In Louisa May Alcotts novel “An Old Fashioned Girl” the main character, Polly Milton, finds herself struggling against a man versus society conflict, as she confronts the rich first class society that surrounds her. The fourteen year old country girl who ventures into the city to visit her good friend, is constantly being told she is old fashioned, poor, and too simple for the city. The basis of the conflict is that all the people Polly encounters during her time in the city, expect her to look and behave like the rest. When Polly cannot do this, people begin to tease and mock her all because she has no wealth. The conflict begins when Polly first arrives to the city as a small child. As Fanny is showing Polly her room, Fanny tells Polly she “looks like a little girl”…show more content…
Polly sometimes envys the Shaw’s for having money, being able to buy what they want when they want it, while she on the other hand has to earn her own money to buy practical things rather than new dresses. The conflict intensifies when Tom was talking to Fanny one night at the opera, and said to his sister “It’s just Polly.” This deeply upsets Polly to hear one of her dearest friends say such a thing, and to refer to her as just Polly rather than a friend. Even Fanny continues to call Polly “Old fashioned” she might not mean it to be rude, but it still hurts Polly to be called names by her friends. Polly soon begins to wonder if she is to old fashioned and independent and that her friends feels the same way as the other people who look down on her, she beings to think about this after the day she passed Tom and Trix and Tom did not say hello to her. Even the ladies in Fanny’s sewing circle tease poor Polly, she knows she is an outcast to ladies and does not like going because the ladies talk and gossip about things she does not understand and she finds it unpleasant when they deliberately call her old
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