I forgot to mention this in the previous post. Would anyone be interested in writing a guest post for this read-along? A character sketch or a review of one of the movie versions, for instance? Or even a post delving into one of your favorite themes from the book. Please comment any time if you'd be interested! We had quite a few guest posts for the Lord of the Rings read-along and I thought they were so cool.
And I will be holding a give-away at the end of this read-along, just so you know :-)
Now, on to business!
It makes me smile and smile that we get a full account of the play! Too often books like this spend plenty of time detailing the preparations for the play, and then when the production actually is presented, we only get a few sentences saying things like, "The play went off with only a few hitches. One little character forgot her lines entirely, while another kept looking at the audience to see how they were reacting to the funny bits. But although the scenery came crashing down on the poor actors' heads during the elopement scene, the show gamely went on, and was greeted with cheers and a satisfying round of applause at the end."
Wouldn't it be boring if that's all we got? Instead, Alcott gives us pages of delicious play, and I'm so happy she does. I'd forgotten they invited their friends to be the audience, though. How jolly!
We also see that theme of good being rewarded coming through again, with Mr. Laurence sending them a big Christmas feast to show how good he thinks they were when they gave away their breakfasts.
Hugo, getting thirsty after a long warble, drinks it, loses his wits, and after a good deal of clutching and stamping, falls flat and dies, while Hagar informs him what she has done in a song of exquisite power and melody (p. 19).
Possible Discussion Questions: Have you ever put on a play with your family or friends like the March girls do here?
Have you read Mansfield Park? If so, compare and contrast this statement with how Fanny Price views play acting: "It was excellent drill for their memories, a harmless amusement, and employed many hours which otherwise would have been idle, lonely, or spent in less profitable society" (p. 16).