Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Good Templars "Alcott"

The Good Templars is a short story by Louisa May Alcott. It is one of the short stories published in Alcott's book, Jack and Jill: A Village Story which was published in 1880. The story is a simple tale of a small family living in a quaint town, but also operates as an argument in favor of the temperance movement.
The story revolves around two young brothers, Jack and Frank and follows them through their daily life as they wake up in the morning, finish their chores, eat breakfast, and complete their school lessons. The two keep each other in line, and the story opens with Frank making sure Jack was awake and ready to start the day. The two boys engage in a conversation with their mother about the perils of drinking, and she urges them to lead by example with their temperance. The boys work on their small newspaper, called The Observer, where they work on editing together temperance pieces they have written. After working on editing their paper, they engage in a football game with some friends, where they are invited to go on a hay-cart ride later that evening. They refuse the offer, because they are required to attend a meeting so they may become part of The Good Templars, and the two boys felt confident in themselves for refusing temptation. Later that evening, they attended the meeting at the Lodge, and left with elation at their good deeds and the encouragement of the other members. Jack suggests to Frank that they gather a small group of young people to serve as a sort of army, and Frank agrees that "something must be done". The story ends with "Boyish talk and enthusiasm, but it was of the right sort; and when time and training had fitted them to bear arms, these young knights would be worthy to put on the red cross and ride away to help right the wrongs and slay the dragons that afflict the world," which suggests the young boy's conviction and dedication to their cause.