I put page numbers after things I quote, but those are mostly for my own reference -- you don't have to do that. I'm using this edition for the read-along.
|(This is the edition I'm reading.)|
In this chapter, I'm struck by the emphasis on personal behavior. I had forgotten, or not realized before, how humanistic these first chapters are! Their parents are basically telling these girls that if they try hard enough, they can overcome their faults and be good, that goodness comes from within. We also have the first discussion of Pilgrim's Progress, emphasizing how the main character of that book worked to overcome obstacles. According to the introduction for my edition, Pilgrim's Progress was Louisa May Alcott's father's favorite book. I know we'll be seeing more discussion of it in the upcoming chapters.
My favorite character has always been Jo, and reading through this again after so long, I can see why. Not just that she writes, which I do, or the fact that she wishes she was a boy, which I used to wish fervently myself. But she says, "I hate to think I've got to grow up" (p. 5), and oh my, how I hated that. Still hate it. I am most insistent on never fully growing up, and play and act silly and read children's books and watch children's movies with great enjoyment still. Sometimes I even do those things with my kids ;-)
"If you mean libel, I'd say so, and not talk about labels, as if Papa was a pickle bottle," advised Jo, laughing (p. 4).
"Don't, Jo! It's so boyish!"
"That's why I do it" (p. 4).
A quick, bright smile went round like a streak of sunshine (p. 9).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Have you ever read this before?
Have you seen any movie versions of it?
Do you have a favorite character?