Saturday, May 23, 2015

Little Women Read-Along: New Impressions (Ch. 37)

Time to tell the truth:  I don't particularly ship Laurie and Amy.  I don't want Laurie to marry Jo, but I never quite like him with Amy either.  It just feels too... convenient or something.

However, this is an amusing chapter, with all the little side comments about the way Americans behave in Europe, the way people dance well or badly, etc.  I especially liked how "the Emperor's friend covered himself with glory, for he danced everything, whether he knew it or not, and introduced impromptu pirouettes when the figures bewildered him" (p. 344).  Doesn't he sound like a fun person?

Favorite Lines:

"I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now" (p. 345).

"Foreign life polishes one in spite of one's self" (p. 345).

Possible Discussion Questions:

What are your thoughts on Amy and Laurie's emerging relationship?

10 comments:

  1. I'm not a shipper of Amy and Laura at ALL. Especially in the movie. It was all so creepy and just NOT right. :-) I also feel this because Amy was just a little kid when Laurie was her older sister's best friend. It's just... I don't know - weird!

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    1. Naomi -- interesting! I agree that it's a little unusual to fall in love with your older sibling's best friend, but maybe less so back when people's social circles were smaller? Which movie version did you find it creepy in?

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    2. Oh the Winona Ryder one. :-) But I'm VERY much a Jo-Laurie shipper, so I guess that doesn't really help. :-P

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    3. Ahh. Nope, that wouldn't help, then.

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  2. I was always pretty neutral to the Amy/Laurie thing until a couple years ago and then suddenly I went all "shippy" with it. I still don't know what happened there...

    Anyway, I do like Amy and Laurie as a couple. It just took me a while to get used to it. :)

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    1. Hayden, I think I'm fonder of them together than I used to be. I used to feel like Laurie shouldn't marry anybody at all and just be everyone's brother-friend forever, but that's so unfair to Laurie, so now I'm okay with it, I think. But not exactly a fan.

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  3. I'm very much in the Jo-Mr. Bhaer camp, but -- like Hayden -- I was always pretty neutral to Laurie and Amy getting together. I do VERY much like them together now, but I do also agree that sometimes it can seem a little "convenient." Thinking about it, though, I actually think a contributing factor to it may be Alcott's decision to have four sisters in the first place. (Please, please don't cast me out for saying this ;P), but it does violate the traditional strong "Rule of Three." Alcott does it beautifully, but it does seem to be a pretty well established fact and violating it can lead to a bit more of a sprawly feel/making it harder for the reader to identify with that last additional leading figure. Looking particularly at Book 2 here, I think it is possible that if the space devoted to Meg had, instead, been spent on Amy (and/or Amy and Laurie together) it might give a slightly different feel (particularly if you had a little more development with the whole Fred business, etc). :)

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    1. Heidi, yes! I'm very much in the Jo-Bhaer camp too :-D

      Ahhh, the Rule of Three. It IS very useful, and can make things stronger and tighter, I agree. I feel almost like Beth is really the outcast, and the others make a good triangle, while Beth is so otherworldly she's almost not a sister and more something for them to pet and cherish and revere. If that makes any sense at all.

      But be that as it may, sometimes I also feel like Laurie marrying Amy is not only convenient, but also his way of ensuring he'll be near the family forever. Although that's more in the 1994 movie and less in the book -- I think in upcoming chapters we'll see him coming to value Amy for herself more and not just because she's a March girl.

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  4. And so we come to my favourite chapter of all... Dear me! I am such a romantic and I just love the description of the lively dances at the Christmas ball and Amy and Laurie's developing relationship...although it is still very much in its early stages...
    I love how Laurie comes to see 'Little Amy' in a different light and she him. And Amy really suits Jo's description of the perfect wife for Laurie perfectly...
    And yes, he does begin to value her for herself and not just because she us part of the March family.
    I especially liked how she didn't get too dressed up and act the part of a wealthy woman as Meg did back in book one...I remember someone commenting and saying that Meg had to pretend to have style, etc, whilst Amy actually had it. Although poor, she did indeed make the most of what she had and did a remarkable job too!
    But, let me stop raving on about this delightful chapter as I know it wasn't everyone's favourite:)

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    1. Kelly-Anne, isn't it intriguing how so often a chapter that leaves one reader ho-hum is a favorite for another reader? Tells us writers to beware writing for one specific person too much, because cutting out things one person dislikes might mean removing the very things another reader would have loved!

      Good catch on the contrast between Amy's behavior here and Meg's back in the first book. You're right! Being naturally stylish, she didn't need to pretend to be anything.

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What do you think?

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)