Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Little Women Read-Along: Lazy Laurence (Ch. 39)

Hurrah for Amy!  I'm glad she tells Laurie the truth and tries her best to show him he needs to snap out of his funk.  He's getting rather annoying with his ceaseless moping over Jo's refusal.

And Amy has come to realize that she will never be a famous artist, and accepted this with good grace.  Although I myself think that being good at something and pursuing it with all your energy is a perfectly good endeavor, since Amy was set on being a genius, I'm glad she's made peace with her discovery.

Favorite Lines:

"...talent isn't genius, and no amount of energy can make it so" (p. 361).

"Love Jo all your days, if you choose, but don't let it spoil you, for it's wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can't have the one you want" (p. 366).

Possible Discussion Questions:

How do you feel about Amy's giving up her art because she can't be great at it?  Would you do the same?

14 comments:

  1. Oh, I am truly very proud of Amy! She excercised a wonderfully good influence over Laurie, don't you think...? Quite sobering to think that, had she been a 'woman of the world', she could have used her power quite differently and encouraged him to pursue those things completely opposite..... I felt dreadfully sorry for Amy when he left...but also glad that he intended to please and become a man of worth:). I thought the '94 film adaption ruined Amy and Laurie in many ways and portrayed both to be quite snobbish, so reading the book again has made feel fond of them again:)
    And I don't think Amy quite gave up her art entirely, but she realised she couldn't become the great artist she pictured herself to be. I actually experienced something similar a little while ago when I came to the conclusion that I could never be a great musician and that I wasn't a genius - I still play, but just for fun and not for any great musical heights...:)

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    1. Kelly-Anne, yes, doesn't she behave brilliantly here?

      I'm sorry you don't like the '94 Amy and Laurie. I do agree they're more... worldly? than in the books. I don't think I ever quite got 'snobbish' from them, but definitely very modern and fashionable.

      Realizing your artistic limits can be freeing, I think. Instead of beating yourself up over not producing masterpieces, you find what you DO do well at and focus on refining that to the best of your abilities.

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    2. Whoops! I think I sounded a bit 'snobbish' there:D. Personally, I feel they tried to squash too much into the movie...I like the '94 movie as a movie -- not as an adaption of these two beautiful books. Does that make sense? Many times I just prefer reading and forming pictures in my mind...:)
      I like what you said about not beating yourself up over not producing masterpieces...so true!
      Can you believe we are almost through with Good Wives??

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    3. Kelly-Anne, I can see that, on the squashing-too-much-in section. I think that's why I like the '78 made-for-TV version: it's longer, so there's more time for each story line to unfold.

      I've got everything plotted out, and we should be done with "Good Wives" by June 10! Huzzah! We're so close!

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  2. I'm so glad Laurie finally woke up! It was sad to see him in that state, and the way Amy spoke to him was also really nice. I especially love the part where she contrasts the two pictures of Laurie and the language Alcott used to describe to the two pictures.
    It doesn't sound like Amy really gave up her art, but she gave up the thought that she would be great at it. I think I might have done the same thing as her. Like Amy, I love to draw and paint. I know that I will never be great, but art is a part of my being so I can't just give it up because I know I'll never be great.
    Did that make sense or was I just rambling? :)

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    1. Ekaterina, that does make sense. I'm the same way with writing -- I'll never be an Alcott or a Fitzgerald or an Austen, but I enjoy it, and God has given me some skill, so I'd better use what I have!

      Later on, Amy's sketching still, so she obviously doesn't give up on all art entirely, but gives up on trying to make Great Art, I guess? Though this chapter did make it sound like she was putting it all behind her, I thought.

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  3. You've been very committed to the _Little Women_ reading project, and I'm sorry that I could not join you in the reading-and-discussion; however, I wonder what awaits you on your challenge-shelf since I am keeping my mind open to joining you in one of your future reading challenges. I am now very much between books, so I am open to ideas.

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    1. Thanks, R.T.! It's been a fun journey.

      Right now, I'm not making any immediate read-along plans because I'm getting a bit burnt out on read-alongs, to be honest. I've been either participating in or leading at least one at all times since September, and I'm getting kind of tired of stopping every chapter to write up my thoughts in book after book. So I've pushed back my Hamlet read-along plans to this fall, and am looking forward to really digging into some books I've been putting off because of all these.

      And what are those? Several versions of Robin Hood, especially Howard Pyle, Lancelyn Green, Henry Gilbert, and one other chappie whose name escapes me at the moment. Also everything on my three sagging shelves of to-be-read books :-)

      However, come late summer, I'll probably start itching to lead the Hamlet read-along, so I'm guessing I'll start it somewhere around September 1st. No concrete plans, though. Sorry!

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  4. I don't think people should great at something they love to do, as long as they don't intend to make a living of it. Besides, everybody at home loves Amy's art, she could still do something for personal purposes.

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    1. Bzee, I also think plenty of people who are not geniuses or "great" at their art can still make a living with it. Just have to find your niche :-) And yes, her family still likes her sketches, so I think she will continue to dabble.

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    2. Oh, I think I was carried away by Amy's idealism, lol. Yes, I agree with you. I've found some people of that kind though.

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    3. Hee. Enthusiasm can be that way!

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  5. Such A great chapter! I love that conversation between Laurie and Amy, I think this is The point where I begin to see they could make A good couple.

    I think it would be sad if Amy gave up her art completely because she couldn't be A genius. If you enjoy doing something it shouldn't matter How good you are at it. But if she means giving up her dream of being a famous artist, it shows How much she is maturing. Sometimes it is good to face reality and know when to stop dreaming.

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    1. Rose, they do have a level of honesty that really will make their relationship work, don't you think?

      Good point about knowing when to stop dreaming -- that IS important.

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