Free Study Guide: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott|
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LITTLE WOMEN: LITERATURE NOTES / CRITICISM
Amy has a rough time at her auntís house although the elderly lady doesnít mean to be harsh. She gives Amy numerous chores with very little free time. During those short respites she goes riding with Laurie and, under the watchful eye of the maid, explores the house, examining and arranging her auntís wardrobes and jewel cases.
During one of these sessions, Esther asks Amy which piece she would choose for herself if she could. Although she first selects a string of gold and ebony beads, Esther tells her that Aunt March has already declared that Amy will get the turquoise ring. This prospect gives Amy the courage to endure her auntís discipline. She becomes a model of obedience and creates a prayer room for herself where she goes when she needs additional fortitude.
The concept of Aunt Marchís will and the worry over Bethís survival
inspires Amy to create a will of her own. She promises something to everyone
with one of her most precious possessions going to Jo because of the burned
Amy is either not as self-centered as she has seemed at times, or else
she is capable of making great personal sacrifices if there is the possibility
of arriving at a desired goal as a result.
The girls along with Laurie and Mr. Laurence enjoy the reunion with Marmee. Marmee visits Amy at the Auntís house and encourages her to hang in there a bit longer. Amy displays the ring which Aunt March has already given her and begs to be allowed to wear it as a reminder to keep from being selfish.
Mrs. March confides in Jo, telling her that Mr. Brook-whom she now calls
"John"-has asked permission to court Meg. Jo is not the least
bit happy about it as she had planned for Meg to marry Laurie. Her argument
is that Laurie is handsome and rich, but in reality she simply isnít willing
to "let go" of any of her sisters, nor is she really quite ready
to grow up herself.
Marmee makes a mistake in thinking that she can confide in Jo about Johnís
feelings. Jo is not nearly as grownup as her mother thinks she is, and
she certainly is not ready to give up her sister to someone who might
take her away. More than that, however, Jo has heard Megís complaints
about their current poverty and her desire for some of the things their
wealthier friends have; Marmee has never been subjected to these complaints.
Thus, although her motives are partly selfish, Jo is sincere in wanting
Meg to marry someone with money.
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Ruff, Dr. Karen S C. "TheBestNotes on Little Women".
. 09 May 2017