Classic Alice Book Club: Little Women Ch. 11-14

So, this would have been up yesterday, but I honestly was just not feeling snarky enough, and I couldn’t hand over a snark-less review. I hope you understand.

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Are you excited? Laurie’s excited!

(And thanks to The March Family Letters for sharing our blog from last week! You guys wrote a ridiculously sweet tumblr post about it and I am feeling all warm and fuzzy inside about you now <3)

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Allright. I wanna start this week by bring to your attention the incomparable “Dirtbag Little Women” which I found on The Toast. It contains such gems as this:

MEG: all right we’re off to the play with Laurie
JO: don’t wait up
AMY: can I come too?
JO: don’t be ridiculous
AMY [whispering]: I’m going to burn what you love and marry your boyfriend
JO: what
AMY: have such a fun time at the play

and

LAURIE: oh, Jo please marry me
JO: no
LAURIE: but why
[JO strikes a match on LAURIE’s chin and lights her cigar with it]
JO: because that’s exactly what they’ll be expecting
LAURIE: who is ‘they’?
[JO slowly rollerblades offscreen without replying]

So basically it’s perfect. Go. Read. Laugh. Thank Me Later.

OK, moving on to my not-nearly-as-awesome-as-that review.

Chapter 10, the girls try and experiment. Which is to say, they are very lazy. Just for a week though. No one cleans, Amy sleeps in, Jo spends the whole time reading and Amy got drenched on a walk. Meg bought some muslin that faded too quickly, and Beth is upset over the stress of learning so many songs on the piano at once. Wish my life was that stressful, amirite ladies?

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Because idleness apparently manifests itself in bad luck, Jo’s bird dies because she forgets to feed it, they burn their bread, and everyone is cross. They all agree the experiment to do what they want, and not what they should is a failure. But most hilariously, the girls try to cook Marmee dinner (who pretends to be sick and dismisses the servants for a few days so that the girls have a really rough time of it) and their poor mum basically has to hide some stuff away to eat while the girls aren’t looking, it’s that inedible.

Then Jo tries to cook dinner for a friend and Laurie, and that goes disastrously. But I’m pretty sure Laurie at this point is thinking that he’s rich enough to hire a cook to ensure Jo will never serve him food again.

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Do you ever notice that children in novels who are lazy always learn their lesson gratefully? I’m pretty sure that if a kid these days decided to be lazy and not do anything for a week no one would know the difference… but anyway, it serves as a plot point to get the girls to take cooking lessons, even though that means Jo winds up back in the kitchen.
Chapter 10, Camp Laurence, reintroduces us to the March Family Post Office, which Beth is apparently the postmaster of. She goes about one July day distributing goodies, including a translation of a German song for Meg done by Mr. Brooks, and not Laurie as Meg had asked. (See the pretty foreshadowing? Admire the pretty foreshadowing!) There’s a letter from Laurie inviting Jo and the other sisters to a rowing party and picnic, and they rush off in the morning to meet him and the group of Laurie’s friends from England.

Best of all, Amy, who is constantly worried about the shape of her nose, does it up with a clothespin overnight to give it some extra perk. Everyone laughs at her because Amy is ridiculous and laughable. (DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME! I saw Elizabeth Taylor do this when I was a child in the 1949 Little Women movie, and promptly went out to our clothesline to get a pin and stuck it on my nose. Not only did it not work, but it HURT!) On a side note, here are some TRULY adorable Little Women clothespin dolls I found.

No, you're going to have a mark on your nose for several hours tomorrow morning and loss of blood flow.
No, you’re going to have a mark on your nose for several hours tomorrow morning and loss of blood flow.

Revelries are had, Jo shows off her stupid hat, and the children from England think all Americans are very quaint and a bit funny in the head. Brooke, of course, takes the opportunity to woo Meg, even if no one sees it but us.

They arrive, play some games and eat some lunch. Then they decide to play a game called “Truth.” (Which is apparently Truth or Dare without the Dare, and that’s stupid because everyone knows the Dares are the best part and Truths only get everyone into trouble.) But they decide to play anyway and of course, Laurie tries to trick Jo into saying she likes him. Miss Kate is a total bitch to Meg about being a governess, and Brooke makes her feel better, because, hey, he’s a tutor and knows how she feels.

How did you not see this coming Jo? They were walking together and everything!
How did you not see this coming Jo? They were walking together and everything!

Beth entertains the visiting brother with a broken foot, and UGGGGGH. This is such a long chapter. Really, nothing particularly important is going on other than Laurie trying to flirt with Jo, Brooke and Meg flirting with each other, and Jo being oblivious to it all. Miss Kate has a nice line when she says “In spite of their demonstrative manners, American girls are very nice when one knows them.”
And to that I say, maybe most of us, but thank god you haven’t seen I Wanna Marry Harry.

So... this exists. Anyone want to hatewatch it with me?
So… this exists. Anyone want to hatewatch it with me?

Chapter Thirteen, Castles In The Air, in which Laurie gets bored and decides to stalk the March girls. He sees them marching off (no pun intended) runs home, dons a stupid hat and follows after them. He finds them enjoying themselves in a meadow, and he begs to join them in a speech that gives only children a bad rap.

They explain to him their plan to make the most of their vacation time from school and work, and how they call this meadow Delectable Mountain. They make more references to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which is a terribly boring read, and I don’t recommend it. But it does get the girls talking about what they want out of life, namely, their “castles in the air.”

Meg wants a husband and children, Jo wants a stable full of Arabian horses and adventure, Beth wants to stay at home to take care of Marmee and Father, and Amy wishes to be an artist and go to Rome.

They make a pact to meet ten years in the future and see how many of them have reached their goals. Then they make a lot of fuss about how old they will be and exclaim that twenty-two is extremely old and in the process make me feel absolutely ancient at twenty-four.

My face reading this scene.
My face reading this scene.

Apparently, Grandfather Laurence wants Laurie to be a merchant in India, but Laurie wants to break off from that plan and try the world on his own terms. Can’t really blame him, and neither can Jo, who advises taking the ship to India and then sail away, never to come home until he’s made his own way. Jo and Laurie get into a dustup about something, but honestly it’s so silly I can’t even recall what.

Later that night, as Beth plays for Grandfather Laurence in the twilight, Laurie stands in the doorway and realizes that he is all the old man has left, and will stay to please him. Now isn’t that a tender moment?

Chapter Fourteen, “Secrets,” shows us Jo writing busily in the attic garret as autumn approaches. She finishes, and throws down her quill to pick up the manuscript and her coat, sneaking out of the house to mail it to a publisher. But she’s so paranoid about any friends or family seeing her do this, that she crisscrosses her path and doubles back several times to keep the snoops at bay.

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But Laurie catches her anyway and she has to pretend like she was at the dentist’s downstairs. Laurie on the other hand, makes no qualms about being caught playing that atrocious game of gamblers: Billiards. So of course Jo gives him a lecture.

They decide to trade secrets and Jo tells him about how she’s submitted her manuscript for publication. Laurie tells Jo about how Brooke carries a trinket of Meg’s in his pocket.

Jo is pissed. And I mean really pissed. Because she clearly was not paying attention at the picnic, when Brooke and Meg spent the ENTIRE time together, nor has she been paying attention to their little conversations, and so she gets mad at Laurie and totally denies it even being possible.

Meg gets mad at Jo for some reason, probably because she’s not acting ladylike enough, and Jo flomps in from running around with Laurie and reads the girls a story.

Admirable bitch-face going on here.
Some admirable bitch-face going on here.

But Jo lets it drop that the story she’s reading is actually *her* story, and even though everyone thinks it’s good and is very happy for her, she didn’t get paid for it. Apparently they don’t pay beginners, thgh she’s been told it’s a good start, and good practice.

This sounds an awful lot like the hokey they tried to sell me on about journalism internships. Lots of work, little pay, but “good experience!” You fight ‘em, Jo.

She does, and announces happily that she will be paid for her next story.

The End!

…Of This Week 😉

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As always, the lovely Cammysawr has done a round-up of last week’s tagged posts, which you can find on her amazing technicolor dreamblog HERE

ALSO, in keeping with her awesomeness, Cammy also did her own review!!  Check that out HERE. If any of you want to jot down some notes o n your own blog or wherever else you write (perhaps in an attic garret, furiously?) let us know and we’ll share it here!

Remember to keep those #CABookClub posts coming!! And you can always leave comments below with your thoughts on this week’s reading. Next week we’ll be reading through Ch. 20!! I know it’s a lot! But I have faith in you! ❤

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