22 February 2009



Chapter 22: Christmas at the March home is made complete and wonderful by Father's return. Mr. Brooke comes with him & wishes to speak of marriage to Meg.

Chapter 23: Aunt March irritates Meg, which helps her realize how much she loves Mr. Brooke, or "my John" as he's now known. Jo continues to struggle with the engagement, though she does see some good in it.


It's interesting the way that Ms. Alcott brings out the damage done by the company Meg kept:

"Anne Moffat's foolish lessons in coquetry came into her mind, and the love of power, which sleeps in the bosoms of the best of little women, woke up all of a sudden and took possession of her. She felt excited and strange, and not knowing what else to do, followed a capricious impulse..." (page 223, Chapter 23)

It's interesting, because this chapter has such a significant battle between money and happiness. The Moffats and Aunt March have money, but Alcott has been consistent throughout the book in bringing out how little happiness their wealth brings them. On the other hand, the March family and Mr. Brooke have very little wealth but are warmer and more genuine, which brings them a great deal of happiness. It seems to me that Ms. Alcott is setting Meg up to choose between wealth and happiness. I'm not sure that's really a choice that has to be made: I know some people who have quite a bit and still are down-to-earth and happy. On the other hand, the stereotypes that Ms. Alcott brings out in both the Moffat family and Aunt March are very real dangers for those who are blessed with abundance.

1 comment:

misskate said...

Cool. I didn't really even notice or think much on the juxtaposition of wealth to happiness that the author presents in chapter 23. I know you've said it before, but it's interesting to read the same book and then compare our different thoughts. Good times good times :)