In which Jo secretly submits two of her stories for publication. I so identify with that desire for secrecy -- what if the stories aren't accepted? Better to keep the whole thing to yourself until you know you've succeeded. Then no one can laugh or commiserate with you if you fail.
But anyway, I love Jo and Laurie's discussion as they walk home. Such great pals! Of course, you know I loved the part where Jo wants Laurie to teach her to fence so they can play Hamlet and Laertes :-) I'm really struck by that comparison for the two of them. Hamlet and Laertes grew up together in Elsinore, and presumably they palled around together as youngsters. But then Hamlet went to Wittenburg University, and Laertes went to France, much like Jo goes to New York while Laurie goes to Europe. Hamlet fell in love with Laertes' sister, much like Laurie marries Jo's sister. Hamlet and Laertes fought each other, but made peace eventually, and Jo and Laurie of course have their falling out later on, but also make up. So this comparison is a nifty little bit of foreshadowing, I think. Though I rather think Jo switched who was who -- Laurie has much more of Hamlet's moodiness, and no sisters.
And then Laurie tells Jo his secret, which really isn't exactly his to tell: Mr. Brooke has kept Meg's glove. Jo is upset because she hates change and can see that Meg will be leaving the nest before long. I hate change too, so I identify really strongly with Jo through the whole chapter.
Finally, hurrah for Jo! Her stories get published! She doesn't get paid for them, but it's a start :-) Much like the for-the-love markets today, eh?
Lying back on the sofa, she read the manuscript carefully through, making dashes here and there, and putting in many exclamation points, which looked like little balloons (p. 132).
Jo's eyes sparkled, for it is always pleasant to be believed in, and a friend's praise is always sweeter than a dozen newspaper puffs (p. 136).
"Don't try to make me grow up before my time, Meg.,,. Let me be a little girl as long as I can" (p. 137).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Do you think Laurie really expected Jo to be pleased by Mr. Brooke's interest in Meg?