Free Study Guide: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott|
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LITTLE WOMEN: PLOT NOTES / BOOK REPORT
Jo is a true diplomat. Regardless of which Laurence she is talking to,
she can find a way to be sympathetic without totally agreeing. Thus she
can enable each individual to look at a situation from a different perspective.
The girls and Marmee celebrate another Christmas along with Hannah and
Laurie. Mrs. March has a letter from her husband saying he will soon be
with them. While occupying themselves with such blessings as they have,
however, they are surprised by the appearance of Mr. Brook and Father
at the door. He still has some convalescent time ahead of him, but is
able to sit in an easy chair along with Beth and enjoy the company of
the family. Laurie, Mr. Laurence and Mr. Brooke dine with them. In spite
of the happiness of the occasion, Jo cannot resist glaring at Mr. Brooke.
The family is all together again. Although Mr. March will remain a fairly
useless character, his observations of his girls provide us with a midpoint
summary on his daughters’ maturity at this point. He notices that Amy
takes less choice pieces of meat for herself and willingly runs errands
for her mother. Jo is acting more like a lady, dressing more neatly, refraining
from slang and using chairs rather than lying about on the floor like
a tomboy. Meg has abused and roughened her hands with housework, but Mr.
March values such "womanly skill" more than "white hands
or fashionable accomplishments." Beth is not as shy as she once was,
although her father is afraid to say much about her for fear she will
"slip away altogether." His observations thus give the reader
a concise way of comparing the girls of the first chapter with the girls
of this second Christmas of the novel.
Dec 26. Laurie torments Meg about his impression of Brooke’s courtship. Meg confides in Jo, declaring that she would turn Mr. Brooks down because she is too young to think of marriage. Nevertheless, Mr. Brooks approaches Meg before the day is over and tries to ask permission to court her. In a sudden urge to be coy, Meg refuses him, telling him to go away and stop thinking of her at all. Just when Meg is enjoying a sense of power, Aunt March wanders in and immediately assumes the Brooke has proposed. Aunt March forbids the arrangement, telling Meg that she will not get a penny of her money if she marries that "cook." Aunt March accuses Mr. Brooke (John) of wanting Meg for money he thinks she will have. Meg takes offense and defends John, declaring his honor and her love for him.
Of course, the entire exchange has taken place in front of John and
he is touched by Meg’s defense and her true feelings for him. The chapter
ends with the two in each other’s arms while the rest of the family-except
for Jo- bask in the overflow of the lovers’ happiness.
(none needed for this chapter)
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Ruff, Dr. Karen S C. "TheBestNotes on Little Women".
. 09 May 2017