Thursday, January 26, 2012



'Little Women'

Ann Dusenberry

Louisa May Alcott

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
The youngest sister—age twelve when the story begins—Amy is interested in art. She is described by the author as a 'regular snow-maiden' with curly golden hair and blue eyes, 'pale and slender' and 'always carrying herself' like a very proper young lady. She is dissatisfied with the shape of her nose which she attempts to fix with a clothespin. She is "cool, reserved and worldly" which sometimes causes her trouble.

Often "petted" because she is the youngest, she can behave in a vain and spoiled way, and throws tantrums when she is unhappy. Her relationship with Jo is sometimes strained; the literary Jo particularly dislikes when Amy uses big words, mispronouncing them or using them incorrectly. Their most significant argument occurs when Jo will not allow Amy to accompany Jo, Meg and Laurie to the theater. In revenge, Amy finds Jo's unfinished novel and throws it all in the fireplace grate, burning years of work. When Jo discovers this, she boxes Amy's ears and tells her, "I'll never forgive you! Never!" Amy's attempts to apologize to Jo are unsuccessful.

When Laurie and Jo go skating, Amy tags along after them, but she arrives at the lake too late to hear Laurie's warning about thinning ice. Under Josephine's horrified stare, Amy falls through the ice, and is rescued by Laurie's prompt intervention. Realizing she might have lost her sister, Jo's anger dissolves and the two become more close.

When Beth is ill with scarlet fever, Amy is sent to stay with Aunt March as a safety precaution. Aunt March grows fond of her, as Amy's natural grace and docility are more to her taste. Amy is invited to accompany Uncle and Aunt Carrol and cousin Flo on a European trip. Although she enjoys travelling, after seeing the works of artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael, Amy gives up her art, because she believes herself to be lacking in talent.

In Europe, Amy meets up with Laurie, and shortly after Beth dies, they marry. Later, Amy gives birth to daughter Elizabeth (Beth or Bess).

From the source:
Amy was having hard times at Aunt March's. She felt her exile deeply, and for the first time in her life, realized how much she was beloved and petted at home. Aunt March never petted any one; she did not approve of it, but she meant to be kind, for the well-behaved little girl pleased her very much, and Aunt March had a soft place in her old heart for her nephew's children, though she didn't think it proper to confess it. She really did her best to make Amy happy, but, dear me, what mistakes she made. Some old people keep young at heart in spite of wrinkles and gray hairs, can sympathize with children's little cares and joys, make them feel at home, and can hide wise lessons under pleasant plays, giving and receiving friendship in the sweetest way.

But Aunt March had not this gift, and she worried Amy very much with her rules and orders, her prim ways, and long, prosy talks. Finding the child more docile and amiable than her sister, the old lady felt it her duty to try and counteract, as far as possible, the bad effects of home freedom and indulgence. So she took Amy by the hand, and taught her as she herself had been taught sixty years ago, a process which carried dismay to Amy's soul, and made her feel like a fly in the web of a very strict spider.

She had to wash the cups every morning, and polish up the old-fashioned spoons, the fat silver teapot, and the glasses till they shone. Then she must dust the room, and what a trying job that was. Not a speck escaped Aunt March's eye, and all the furniture had claw legs and much carving, which was never dusted to suit. Then Polly had to be fed, the lap dog combed, and a dozen trips upstairs and down to get things or deliver orders, for the old lady was very lame and seldom left her big chair. After these tiresome labors, she must do her lessons, which was a daily trial of every virtue she possessed. Then she was allowed one hour for exercise or play, and didn't she enjoy it?

Laurie came every day, and wheedled Aunt March till Amy was allowed to go out with him, when they walked and rode and had capital times. After dinner, she had to read aloud, and sit still while the old lady slept, which she usually did for an hour, as she dropped off over the first page. Then patchwork or towels appeared, and Amy sewed with outward meekness and inward rebellion till dusk, when she was allowed to amuse herself as she liked till teatime. The evenings were the worst of all, for Aunt March fell to telling long stories about her youth, which were so unutterably dull that Amy was always ready to go to bed, intending to cry over her hard fate, but usually going to sleep before she had squeezed out more than a tear or two.


1 comment:

BookLover said...

Hi, I ran into this post by accident as I'm preparing a post on Amy March myself, only from a bit different approach. The idea of your blog is very interesting, I'll browse trough it now to get to know it a bit more.