|Best as I can tell, this is the sort of thing one wore at the sea side|
in the 1860s, so imagine Jo and Beth in something like this.
Another sad chapter :-( A poignant and soft sadness, though, not like the messy, sloppy sadness of the previous one. My, how brave both Beth and Jo are, facing such loss, such sorrow with so much courage and acceptance.
Isn't that first description of Beth's face stunning? "It was no paler, and but little thinner than in the autumn, yet there was a strange, transparent look about it, as if the mortal was slowly being refined away, and the immortal shining through the frail flesh with an indescribably pathetic beauty" (p. 331). Wow. You can really tell that Alcott knows whereof she writes, huh? Her own sister Elizabeth died young, and I imagine writing about fictional Beth's illness and death must have been both painful and cathartic for Alcott.
Simple, sincere people seldom speak much of their piety. It shows itself in acts rather than in words, and has more influence than homilies or protestations (p. 333).
Possible Discussion Questions:
What do you think of the fact that Beth seems to have almost foreseen her own early death by never imagining a grown-up life for herself? Is this realistic? Or a fictional device?