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Behind a Mask: Or, a Woman's Power (The Floating Press) by Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott

Louisa might Alcott’s little-known novella is an inventive examine of deception, betrayal, and the ruthless strength of a lady scorned.

When demure Scottish governess Jean Muir arrives at a prosperous loved ones, the kinfolk couldn’t be extra overjoyed with their younger new resident and locate themselves beguiled by way of her grace and wonder. yet this hand over to her “innocent’ charms quickly units the boys quarreling for her cognizance, with the ladies beside themselves with jealousy. extremely joyful along with her luck, pass over Muir units her points of interest at the maximum prize—but she has merely 3 days to assert victory earlier than the reality, in the back of her masks, can be exposed.

American novelist Louisa may perhaps Alcott is healthier remembered for the perennially renowned Little Women.

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What the etymologies show is that names are not, as Cratylus and, indeed, Socrates himself would like to think, ensembles of letters and other small elements of meaning that in their totality communicate all the essential qualities of the thing named. For Socrates, then, as the dialogue increasingly makes clear, there must be “some other principle of truth . . in names” than the one put forward by his interlocutor (Cratylus 432c). This alternative principle is secondary Cratylism, a form of mimesis in which “the general character [of reality] is preserved” against the pitfalls and shortcomings of language, so that “even if some of the proper letters are wanting, still the thing is signified” (433a).

And] if that is true, Cratylus, then I suppose things may be known without names? . [W]e may admit so much, that the knowledge of things is not to be derived from names. No, they must be studied and investigated in themselves. (Cratylus 438b–439b) Socrates’s declaration that “things . . must be studied and investigated in themselves” is one of the most important moments in the dialogue, for even though he is openly declaring here, to borrow Halliwell’s words, his “loss of faith in the power of language to unlock the truth about the abiding reality that, he is convinced, must underlie the flux of the world,” he is not renouncing language (47).

Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature” (1:20, 24), while in the second chapter, in the second account of creation, we are told that “God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that would be its name” (2:19). 19 In the Cratylic model, the correctness of names depends upon the recognition of the primal language inherent in things, or, more precisely, depends upon the recognition of letters and syllables distributed throughout nature.

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