Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Little Women Read-Along: Surprises (Ch. 43)

Laurie's back!  And married to Amy!  Don't you love Jo's reaction to his announcement that he's married her?  "Mercy on us.  What dreadful thing will you do next?" (p. 395).  Good thing Laurie knows her so well and isn't mortified by that :-)

And I love Laurie's explanation of how he came to fall in love with Amy instead.  He says, "Amy and you changed places in my heart, that's all" (p. 397).  That seems like a very sensible remark.  Anyway, I like it.

AND THEN!  Professor Bhaer arrives, unexpectedly, and he's so delicious, isn't he?  I love it when he offers his sympathy for her losing Beth, and "Jo felt as if no comfort could equal the look of the kind eyes, the grasp of the big, warm hand" (p. 402).  Everyone has a jolly visit talking about everything under the sun, and then they end by all gathering around the piano, which was melancholy, but sweet.

And don't you love how Mr. and Mrs. March totally know Jo is falling for Professor Bhaer, but she doesn't yet?  I'm amused.

Favorite Lines:

"An old maid, that's what I'm to be.  A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps..." (p. 393).

Mr. Bhaer sat looking about him with the air of a traveler who knocks at a strange door, and when it opens, finds himself at home (p. 403).

Possible Discussion Questions:  What did you think of Alcott's little homily on spinsters at the beginning of the chapter?  She was 36 when Little Women was first published (a year older than I am!), so do you think she considered herself a spinster by then?  


  1. I really like how she says the best thing is to accept our lives as they are, and be happy. In other words, if somebody wanted to get married and was never able to, they shouldn't mourn over that for the rest of their life. That's very true, I think, because God doesn't want us to sit around thinking about "what might have been." He puts us in particular situations for a reason--so that we can do good work for Him there!

    On the other hand, I think she is sort of assuming that every woman DOES want to get married in the first place, and so "spinsterhood" is kind of a sad thing--a second best, if you will, which a person has to accept bravely. I'm not sure I agree with that. I think there are some women who don't actually want to marry, and aren't intended to marry, either.

    1. Yes, Jessica! Accepting how our lives are and living them to the fullest is very important. We have hopes and dreams, and that's good, but we need to not brood over what doesn't happen.

      And I agree that not every woman wants or needs to get married. I was just discussing with a happily unmarried friend that we need a word for people like that, because "spinster" has such unpleasant connotations. "Bachelor" doesn't, but "bachelorette" sounds too floofy.

  2. Such a happy chapter, don't you think...? Especially after all the sorrow and pain of losing dear Beth...
    Did L.M. Alcott ever marry...? I actually do not know all that much about her and would love to know!
    So sweet how Laurie said 'his wife' - poor Jo! I loved her response!

    1. Yes, it's a breath of sunshine after all the sadness.

      LMA never married. She did have one romance, according to Wikipedia, and she basically adopted her sister May's daughter when her sister died.


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