Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2016

Degree Type

Honors Project



First Advisor

Dr. Craig Franson


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a classic work of American literature that has been adapted into many different forms since its original publication in 1868. This essay analyzes the effects of adapting a novel, or written medium, to a visual medium such as a film or stage production. Particularly, it looks at Alcott’s Little Women in relation to Allan Knee’s 2005 Broadway musical adaptation of the story. This article begins with a discussion about the challenges that come with adapting a written medium to a visual medium, and then uses Little Women as a case study, examining the differences between the two versions of the story. Some main elements that help determine the validity of Knee’s adaptation are (a) insignificant changes brought about due to time constraints; (b) significant thematic alterations; (c) character development; and (d) modern significance of the novel.