and Meg attend a New Year's Eve party at Mrs. Gardiner's house. There is much
commotion getting the two girls ready as they try to make the best of their old
dresses and gloves. Jo tries to curl Meg's hair but only burns the ends off in a
great tragedy. At the party, Jo meets Laurence, the grandson of old Mr.
Laurence. He tells Jo that he would like to be called Laurie instead of his
given name, Theodore, because classmates had teased him in the past. The girls
return from the party and share their experiences with their sisters.
this chapter, the reader learns a great deal about each of the personalities of
the little women. The narrator tells the reader that Mr. March lost his property
while trying to help an unfortunate friend and because of this, Meg and Jo had
found work outside the home to help support the family. Meg spends her days
teaching small children as a governess, but could not help but yearn for a life
in which she could go to parties, concerts, and spend her time in gossip. Jo
spends time reading and caring for her Aunt March and wished that she could read
all the books in her Aunt's library. Beth, the shy one, wishes that she could
spent more time playing the piano instead of doing housework. Finally, Amy
simply wishes that her nose was less flat. The narrator also shares that Meg was
Amy's close friend and mother, while Beth and Jo were equally as close.
can barely stand still and wishes to go next door and visit Laurie. She feels
terrible that she has such wonderful sisters to keep her company and that Laurie
has no one. She ventures next door in order to read to the sick Laurie but ends
up talking with him for hours. She tells him all about her sisters and the
adventurous things they do, she wishes that he could join in their fun.
girls spend much time over at the Laurence's home. Beth, however, fearing old
man Laurence refuses to visit. Mr. Laurence speaks privately with Mrs. March
about the possibility of Beth visiting the house and playing the piano, alone
and undisturbed. Eventually Beth is able to visit the house and plays wonderful
music for all to hear. In gratitude for Mr. Laurence's generosity she makes him
a pair of slippers. Touched by her sincerity, Mr. Laurence gives Beth a small
piano that once belonged to his deceased grand daughter. From this point on Beth
and Mr. Lawrence shared a special bond.
explains to her sisters that she is deeply in debt with her classmates. It seems
that a popular pastime of Amy and her classmates is the trading of pickled limes
and Amy has not been able to provide her fair share. Meg gives Amy some money to
purchase limes and Amy proudly announces to her classmates that she has 24
limes. After refusing to share her limes with the young Jenny Snow, Amy's secret
stash of limes is discovered by Mr. Davis and she is punished before the class.
When Mrs. March learns that her youngest daughter was smacked with a ruler and
humiliated in front of the class she sends Jo with a note to Mr. Davis and
decides that Amy will be taught at home. Laurie gives Beth a great compliment on
her piano abilities.
invites Jo and Meg to watch The Seven Castles of the Diamond Lake and Amy wishes
to come along. Jo is angered and annoyed at Amy and tells her that she cannot
come. As Jo leaves Amy swears revenge on her. Upon arriving home Jo learns that
Amy has burned a book that she has been working on for many years. Jo is so hurt
and crushed that she cannot ever forgive Amy. The next day Jo and Laurie go
skating and Amy follows behind them in the hopes of telling her sister how sorry
she is. As Jo and Laurie are racing on the ice, Amy slips through and Laurie
rescues her. Jo feels terrible for not forgiving her sister sooner and the two
sisters make up. Jo and her mother discuss their tempers and Jo vows to try to
control hers more.
leaves the family for a fortnight and stays with the Moffats. While staying with
these girls Meg is introduced into the life of a young lady. She attends
dinners, goes to the theater and tries on many new airs. Meg, however, is ashamed
that her family is poor and that she cannot afford a new dress like the other
girls. The Moffats dress Meg up for a ball and Meg places herself on display.
Laurie attends the party and is not pleased with Meg's appearance or behavior.
When Meg returns home she confesses to her mother that she was made to look
foolish and that many gossipy things were said about her and her family. Mrs.
March tells Meg to never mind the gossip and to be true to herself by not
pretending to be something that she is not.
reader learns of the secret society which the girls have contrived. The Pickwick
Club was a literary club formed by the four girls in their play. 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 Nathaniel Winkle.
girls decide to take a break from their work and try to experiment with
laziness. The house falls into disrepair and the girls find being lazy, boring.
Pip, the pet canary is discovered dead by Beth. All gather for the burial. Jo
cooks a terrible dinner but everyone tries to be polite.
invites the girls to go camping with him and some of his English friends. The
children enjoy a few nights in the forest.
girls head off to the forest dressed in large hats to play Pilgrims Progress.
Laurie seems them and follows. The girls explain to Laurie about Delectable
Mountain and the Celestial City. Each of the children talk about what their
dream castle would look like and how their dream lives would be. Laurie and Meg
get into a small argument because Laurie insists that he does not need to go to
college as his grandfather insists. Meg believes that he should obey his
grandfather. The two resolve their quarrel and then all the girls decide that
Laurie can be a member of the Busy Bee Society.
goes into town to see the dentist and runs into Laurie. The two of them decide
to tell secrets. Jo tells Laurie that she has given two of her stories to the
newspaper and is waiting to hear whether or not they will be printed. Laurie
tells Jo that her sister Meg has given one of her gloves to his tutor, Mr.
Brooke. Jo is angry that her sister would do such a thing and she becomes very
upset at the thought of Meg having a boyfriend. Jo fears that Meg will be taken
away from the family and is in a mood for several days.
March family receives a telegram that Mr. March is seriously ill. Mrs. March
decides to leave at once to be by his side. Old man Laurence wishes to offer
himself as Mrs. March's escort but because of his advanced age he offers
Laurie's tutor, Mr. Brooke instead. Jo goes and has her hair cut off and sold so
that she can provide the family with $25.00.
of the little women write a letter to their mother.
goes to visit the poor Hummel family to bring them food and supplies. Upon her
visit she discovers that the baby is very ill and takes care of it while the
older sister rests. While watching the child, it dies. The doctor is called and
announces that the baby died of scarlet fever. He tells Beth to go home at once
and take medication. Beth returns and is confined to bed, Amy is sent to Aunt
March's house because of the fear of her contracting the fever. Amy does not
wish to go but Laurie promises to visit her everyday. Meg and Jo begin caring
conditions becomes very grave. Mrs. March is sent for because the doctor
believes Beth will die. Finally, the fever breaks.
suffers at Aunt March's house but finds a friend in Esther, the maid. Esther
tells Amy of the things she will receive when Aunt March dies. Amy decides to
make a will of her own so that she can leave something to each of her sisters.
March returns home and visits the banished Amy who is overjoyed at seeing her
mother. Jo and Marmee have a private talk about Meg and Mr. Brooke. Marmee tells
Jo that while with him in Washington DC., Mr. Brooke told her that he means to
get a job and then ask Meg to marry him. Jo is very upset at the prospect of
loosing her sister, but Marmee tries to comfort her.
plays an evil prank on Meg by sending her a supposed "love letter"
from Mr. Brooke. Laurie apologizes to Meg and her sisters, they forgive him.
Laurie is also punished by his grandfather and decides to run off to Washington,
DC. He asks Jo to go with him but she refuses. Jo gets Mr. Laurence to apologize
for punishing Laurie and all is well.
Day arrives and Mr. March returns home. They girls are happy to see him. Sickly
Beth plays and sings at the piano.
and Jo discuss Mr. Brooke. Mr. Brooke visits the Marches and asks Meg if she
will have his love, she refuses him and he leaves dejected. Aunt March talks
with Meg and tells her that if she decides to love Mr. Brooke, she will inherit
nothing. Meg is so angered that she decides to love Mr. Brooke. The first
section of the book ends.
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of the summary of Little Women