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Alcott prefaces Little Women with an excerpt from John Bunyan’s seventeenth-century work The Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegorical novel about leading a Christian life. Alcott’s story begins with the four March girls—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—sitting in their living room, lamenting their poverty. The girls decide that they will each buy themselves a present in order to brighten their Christmas. Soon, however, they change their minds and decide that instead of buying presents for themselves, they will buy presents for their mother, Marmee. Marmee comes home with a letter from Mr. March, the girls’ father, who is serving as a Union chaplain in the Civil War. The letter inspires the girls to bear their burdens more cheerfully and not to complain about their poverty.
On Christmas morning, the girls wake up to find books, probably copies of The Pilgrim’s Progress, under their pillows. Later that day, Marmee encourages them to give away their breakfast to a poor family, the Hummels. Their elderly neighbor, Mr. Laurence, whom the girls have never met, rewards their charitable activities by sending over a feast. Soon, Meg and Jo are invited to attend a New Year’s Party at the home of Meg’s wealthy friend, Sally Gardiner. At the party, Jo retreats to an alcove, and there meets Laurie, the boy who lives with Mr. Laurence. While dancing, Meg sprains her ankle. Laurie escorts the sisters home. The Marches regret having to return to their daily routine after the holiday festivities.
Jo visits Laurie when he is sick, and meets his grandfather, Mr. Laurence. She inadvertently insults a painting of Mr. Laurence in front of the man himself. Luckily, Laurie’s grandfather admires Jo’s spunk, and they become friends. Soon, Mr. Laurence meets all the sisters, and Beth becomes his special favorite. Mr. Laurence gives her his deceased granddaughter’s piano.
The girls have various adventures. Amy is caught trading limes at school, and the teacher hits her as punishment. As a result, Mrs. March withdraws her daughter from school. Jo refuses to let Amy go with her to the theater. In retaliation, Amy burns Jo’s manuscript, and Jo, in her anger, nearly lets Amy drown while ice-s-kating. Pretty Meg attends her friend Annie Moffat’s party and, after allowing the other girls to dress her up in high style, learns that appearances are not everything. While at the party, she hears that people think she intends to marry Laurie for his money.
That year, the Marches form the Pickwick Club, in which they write a family newspaper. In the spring, Jo smuggles Laurie into one of the club meetings, and he becomes a member, presenting his new circle with a postbox. At the beginning of June, the Marches decide to neglect their housework. At the end of a lazy week, Marmee takes a day off too. The girls spoil a dinner, but everyone ends up laughing over it. One day, Laurie has English friends over, and the Marches go on a picnic with them. Later, Jo gets a story published for the first time.
One dark day, the family receives a telegram saying that Mr. March is sick in the hospital in Washington, D.C. Marmee goes to tend to him, and Jo sells her hair to help finance the trip. Chaos ensues in Marmee’s wake, for the girls neglect their chores again. Only Beth goes to visit the Hummels, and after one of her visits, she contracts scarlet fever from the Hummel baby. Beth teeters on the brink of death until Marmee returns. Meanwhile, Amy spends time at Aunt March’s house in order to escape the disease. Beth recovers, though not completely, and Mr. Brooke, Laurie’s tutor, falls in love with Meg, much to Jo’s dismay. Mr. Brooke and Meg are engaged by the end of Part One.
Three years pass before Part Two begins. Mr. March is home from the war, and Laurie is nearly done with school. Soon, Meg marries and moves into a new home with Mr. Brooke. One day, Amy decides to have a lunch for her art school classmates, but poor weather ruins the festivities. Jo gets a novel published, but she must cut it down in order to please her publishers. Meanwhile, Meg struggles with the duties of keeping house, and she soon gives birth to twins, Demi and Daisy. Amy gets to go to Paris instead of Jo, who counted on the trip, because their Aunt Carroll prefers Amy’s ladylike behavior in a companion.
Jo begins to think that Beth loves Laurie. In order to escape Laurie’s affections for her, Jo moves to New York so as to give Beth a chance to win his affections. There Jo meets Professor Bhaer, a poor German language instructor. Professor Bhaer discourages Jo from writing sensationalist stories, and she takes his advice and finds a simpler writing style. When Jo returns home, Laurie proposes to her, but she turns him down. Beth soon dies.
Amy and Laurie reunite in France, and they fall in love. They marry and return home. Jo begins to hope that Professor Bhaer will come for her. He does, and they marry a year later. Amy and Laurie have a daughter named Beth, who is sickly. Jo inherits Plumfield, Aunt March’s house, and decides to turn it into a boarding school for boys. The novel ends with the family happily gathered together, each sister thankful for her blessings and for each other.
Studies the attainment:
"Little Women" describes four sisters' family lives, this family
central point, is their mother.
This gentle mother is this family operates the rudder the
character on the picture, not only the management counts, but also
devotes to the child
Raises the work. Noble fills the firm belief and the ideal
mother take this as the background, four sisters
Respective display different individuality, faces own ideal to
make great strides forward.
Four sisters help mutually the cooperation to pass the difficulty in
particular that section, is lets my impression be profound, cannot
help but sighed
If this is on each people all has the cooperation cooperation
the psychology, no longer is selfish is the oneself, that cannot have
Many conflicts. This book I most like the role is two elder
sister tall, her that frankly dares the word the individuality, not
Is liked her many people, wants to be the friend with her, has
turns the conflict into the happy ability. In the story has many
The vicissitudes of life, the picture is the mother knew when
expedition father serious illness, must promptly hurry to, can not but leave they
The period of time, in four sisters' hearts although feels
extremely feeling bad with not the shed, but or displays the strong
Does not want to let the mother again more than 1 minute
burdens, and departs after the mother diligently crosses the day, they are that brave
The strong appearance, really lets me admire! But sometimes
they also can have some friction, the picture have tall time write
The draft is liked the onamot burning, after although likes
the onamot having the whereabouts tall apology, but temperament not
good tall throughout not
Is willing to forgive her, until has when they goes to the ice
skating, likes the onamot not carefully falling in the ice lake,
A tragedy, tall now at last discovered own bad temperament,
unexpectedly let the younger sister receive the so big injury, does
Already. Luckily has mother's enlightening, only then lets
look gradually changes this bad temperament. This section makes my
feelings be very deep,
If a person often is angry neighbor, then his week suffers the
person also will feel not happily, he makes any matter
Is not satisfactory, therefore each people all want to be
always smiles, changes the temperament not good this bad custom.
"Little Women" this book also has many touching, is warm, the interest
even humorous plot, this all was recounting
These four sisters experience the life the process, finally
worked as 老三 the Pais serious illness in particular, mother not
in But everybody division of labor and cooperation, strongly
looks after Pais, and has made the correct choice. Their that kind
The performance, represented them already to grow up, has
taken off that blue astringent coat, transfers four to be allowed to
look after oneself
"Little Women"Source(s): 知識+
- Anonymous2 decades ago