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Summary on Little Women

Essay by review  •  September 10, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,150 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,925 Views

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Summary of Part One Little Women tells the story of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they grow from childhood to adulthood. The story is set during the Civil War times. The March girls are struggling because their father is away at war and funds are limited. Jo and Meg have to work outside from home, not only because their father is away at war but also, because he lost all of his money trying to help a friend in need. Jo works for her bitter Aunt March. Meg spends her days teaching small children as a governess. When Jo and Meg attend a New Year's party, they meet their neighbor Theodore Laurence or Laurie, as he prefers to be called. He is the grandson of their rich neighbor Mr. Laurence. Jo and Laurie established the beginning of a wonderful friendship. All the girls start visiting the Laurence home with the exception of Beth. Beth being the shy one from the sisters and afraid of Mr. Laurence decides to stay home instead. Mr. Laurence finds out that Beth is a wonderful piano player. He talks in private to Mrs. March, she helps him convince her to attend his house and play the piano in private. Beth makes Mr. Laurence some slippers, to show him her gratitude. Mr. Laurence touched by her sincerity gives her the piano that once belonged to his sickened and departed granddaughter. From that point her and Mr. Laurence develop a special bond. Meanwhile Amy is terribly in debt with her classmates. It seems that for Amy and her classmates is a pastime to trade pickled limes. Meg gives Amy money to buy limes. She purchases 24 and proudly announces it to her classmates. When she refuses to share her limes with a classmate she gets in trouble with her teacher. He then smacks her with a ruler. When Mrs. March finds out she then decides that is better for Amy to be taught at home. Meg is invited to a fortnight at the Moffats. She attends a party in which she is ridiculed. Laurie also attends the party and is disappointed by her behavior. At the party she also becomes aware of some gossip that is going around of her and her family. She tells her mother and her mother tells her to focus on being herself and to never mind the gossip. The girls have a secret society in. The Picwick Club was a literary formed club formed by the four girls. It featured a newsletter containing writings of the girls. Each girl assumed a separate identity, Meg was Samuel Pickwick, Jo was Augustus Snodgrass, Beth was Tracy Tupman, and Amy was Natheniel Winkle. Jo runs into Laurie at the dentists, they both share their secrets. Jo tells him that she was there because she is trying to get her story published. Laurie then tells Jo that between his tutor, Mr. Brooke and Meg there is something going on. Jo is horrified and feels threaten by Mr. Brooke. She feels that he is going to separate her family by taking her sister away. The March family receives a telegram that Mr. March is seriously ill. Mr. Laurence suggested that Mr. Brooke should be Mrs. March's escort. Jo cuts and sells her hair for $25 to help pay for her mothers trip. When Mrs. March is away Beth goes to the poor Hummel family. She discovers that the baby of the house is sick. While taking care of the baby the baby dies in her arms. The doctor tells them that the baby died of scarlet fever. The doctor sends Beth homes and orders her to take some medications. But, it is too late, Beth falls sick in bed with the scarlet fever. Laurie convinces Amy to go away to Aunt March's house so she won't catch the fever. Meg and Jo are left at the house to take care of Beth. Mrs. March is sent for because Beth conditions worsen. Amy is suffering at Aunt March's house but she becomes a friend with Esther, the maid. She also receives a visit from her mother. When Christmas arrives, Mr. March returns to his Little Women. His girls are happy to see him but Beth is still sick, later Beth plays the piano for all of them. Meg and Jo discuss what is going on between Meg and Mr. Brooke. Meg refuses to accept Mr. Brooke's marriage proposal. Aunt March tells Meg that if she accepts Mr. Brooke she will inherit nothing, which angers Meg and makes her decide that she will marry him. That puts an end to the first part of the book. Summary of Part Two Three years have past by, Mr. March is now a minister and the entire family is awaiting Meg's wedding. Beth is no longer sick but not as energetic as she use to be. Jo is pursuing her writing career, Amy has become quite the young lady, and Laurie is off at college. Meg and Mr. Brooke have purchased a house and are trying to furnish it. When they get married Mr. March acts as minister for the small wedding. Amy starts taking art classes. When she wishes to have her classmates over for lunch and realizes her family cannot support a lunch for 14 girls, she decides to pay for everything herself. The lunch is rained on the first day and on the second, only one friend shows. She is devastated but luckily her family is there to console her. Jo starts earning money because her stories start getting published. That extra income helps pay for groceries, gowns, trips to the beach and other bills. Now, the March family starts worrying less about money issues. Meg starts learning what married life is really about. Being a housewife, is a difficult thing for her, she buys an expensive dress that her husband can't afford. Luckily her patient husband forgives her, and that only makes Meg insult him by telling him she no longer wants to be poor. They work out their problems and have wonderful twins, Daisy and Demi. A fair is thrown to show off the artistic abilities the girls from Amy's have. One of Amy's classmates and daughter of one of the organizers, shares with her mother, how jealous she is of Amy and her talent. They both arrange for Amy's table to be in a faraway in a corner. Fortunately, Jo convinces Laurie and his friends to attend the party and buy Amy's work. Aunt March decides send Amy to Europe instead of Jo. That saddens Jo but makes Beth happy because her favorite sister is staying home. Amy writes several letters to her family, telling them how much she is enjoying herself in Europe. In a very private letter to her mother, she tells her that she ran into Fred, a friend of Laurie's and that he has asked for her love. She also tells her mother that she wouldn't hesitate to accept him as her husband, so like that the family would have a good marriage, unlike Meg marrying a poor man. Mrs. March notices that Beth seems sad, so she asks Jo to find out. When Jo talks to her she assumes that Beth is in love with Laurie and that she fears he will reject her because he is so in love with Jo. Believing that, Jo decides to leave for awhile to New York. She felt that by doing so, would improve her writing skills and it would give Laurie time to forget about her. When she gets to New York and stays in Mrs. Kirke's boarding house she meets Professor

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