Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Little Women Read-Along: Calls (Ch. 29)

This chapter is mostly great fun, isn't it?  Silly Jo, pretending to be first an iceberg, then a flirt, and finally being herself around a bunch of boys.  And her aunts.  Though it's sad at the end, knowing she's missing out on the chance to travel to Europe because she's, well, too honest, I guess.  Do you think that's Alcott's point in this chapter?  That being yourself is all well and good, but that adhering to societal expectations once in a while is beneficial too?  That's our Possible Discussion Question for the day, I think.

Favorite Lines:

"Goodness knows I need a little change, for elegance has a bad effect upon my constitution," returned Jo gruffly, being disturbed by her failure to suit (p. 264).

"...it's easier for me to risk my life for a person than to be pleasant to him when I don't feel like it" (p. 266).

8 comments:

  1. Society does make people fake something (smile, approval, joy, etc) for politeness (and it also depends on the culture). Like we have to know their characteristic before we act or say something. We won't frankly say the truth if we know that it'll hurt somebody, right? So I can see why Jo's honesty strikes her back. But honestly, I don't think Jo would enjoy the trip with someone who doesn't like her just the way she is.

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    1. You're right, Bzee -- I'll bet Jo would have gotten tired of trying to be different than her usual self, and ended up annoyed and miserable.

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  2. Although I don't think it was the right time for Jo to speak her mind at Aunt March's house, I totally agree! I like to feel as if I've worked for a reward rather than just take something without working. I feel indebted to that person, and I hate that feeling! I like to be independent and do things for myself, but sometimes you can't :( I guess it's a good reminder about God and accepting grace because we don't deserve the things we get from Him!
    Also, because Jo reminds me of myself at times in this chapter, I was basically cringing the whole chapter!

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    1. Ashley, I'm very much the same. I do enjoy presents, but I don't enjoy feeling I'm beholden to someone.

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  3. Truth- especially in social situations- frequently requires a filter. It's possible to be honest without being completely frank, and there's a lot to be said for tact and discretion. I think Jo's problem is that she likes to say what she thinks without prevarication, and doesn't always stop to consider the possible effects or unintended consequences of her words. This isn't necessarily a bad thing- compulsive honesty is certainly better than calculating dishonesty- but it can result in awkward situations or, as in this case, misunderstandings.

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    1. Lynn M, that's a good way to put it -- truth needs a filter. You can tactfully say you don't like accepting favors from people and get the same message across as by bluntly saying it, I think. Jo needs to learn the difference.

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  4. I enjoyed this chapter very much...it was certainly quite amusing how Jo attempted to be a different sort of person at the different houses!
    I don't have too much to add here...I think Lynn M pretty much nailed it by saying truth requires a filter...poor Jo! She had to learn that the hard way:)

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    1. I guess it just shows us that having fun is all well and good, but we need to be sure we're not causing damage with our fun, eh?

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What do you think?

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