Thursday, April 9, 2015

Little Women Read-Along: Amy's Will (Ch. 19)

This is a brighter, more cheerful chapter, eh?  Although Amy is having trouble understanding (and being understood by) Aunt March, overall she has life pretty nice.  Especially compared to the terrible worries and fears Meg and Jo are enduring!  Still, she has her little worries, and draws up her own will in all earnestness.

Favorite Lines:

Some old people keep young at heart in spite of wrinkles and gray hairs, can sympathize with children's littl ecares and joys, make them feel at home, and can hide wise lessons under pleasant plays, giving and receiving friendship in the sweetest way (p. 171).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Have you ever made your own will, either recently or when you were a child?

What might the inclusion of a sympathetic Roman Catholic character, who is a servant and a Frenchwoman, tell us about Alcott's own views on religious differences?


  1. I found it quite amusing, Amy's will. It's also rather sad, I think, that Amy writes down her will - it all points to death, and she must have death on her mind, as Beth is extremely ill. It's so sad that she thinks she too, might die. :-(

    1. Oh yes, definitely sad.

      I think, though, that because death in childhood was much more common before antibiotics and modern medicine, that she's being rather sensible and realistic in her own Amy-ish way.

  2. Oh I loved how, "Laurie bit his lips, and turning a little from the pensive speaker read the following document, with praiseworthy gravity, considering the spelling..."
    I thought this chapter pretty amusing, although it was sad that she felt it right to draw up a will...
    Bravo for Laurie and for the old maid who was a little ray of sunshine in Amy's dull life at Aunt March!

  3. Oops! I commented using my sister's acount... Just in case you're wondering!

    1. Aha! I was kind of wondering who Beth was. Other than a character in the book, I mean. And yes, Laurie's very kind to Amy here, isn't he? All through this whole ordeal, in fact.

  4. I think that this was the first time that I was truly struck by how sad Amy's will-writing was. I guess in the past I've always read it as Amy being silly. However, such dangers must have felt very real to her, as indeed they were!

    I was also impressed by Alcott's writing of the Roman Catholic maid. I can imagine how radical that must have been-a sympathetic character so different from her own views. In fact, I think Alcott's spirit of religious inclusion is one that we would do well to take note of today.

    1. I agree -- I used to think Amy was just trying to be all grown up or something. But really, she must have been quite worried that she could die soon. And that Beth could.

      I didn't remember the Roman Catholic maid at all, but I was quite struck by her this time. Good job, Alcott!


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