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by Louisa May Alcott
Beth March Timeline and Summary
Beth is sitting around with her sisters on Christmas Eve, trying to convince them that they are rich in family and love, even if they don't have much money. Beth acts in a play written by her sister Jo and performed for their friends and family. Beth resolves to carry her "burdens" gracefully. Beth must overcome her shyness in order to take advantage of Mr. Laurence's offer to let her play his piano. Beth and Mr. Laurence become close friends. Beth reminds Mr. Laurence of the granddaughter he had who died. Beth participates in a meeting of her sisters' Pickwick Club. Beth is the only one of the sister who can't actually make herself be lazy, even as an experiment. Beth participates in "Camp Laurence" and meets Laurie's friends, the Vaughns. Beth tells her sisters and her friend Laurie that she doesn't have a "castle in the air"; she just wants to stay at home and take care of her parents and sisters. Beth is distraught when her family receives a telegram saying that her father has been wounded. Beth cares for the poor Hummel family alone while her mother is gone. Beth catches scarlet fever from the Hummel family's baby. Beth is extremely sick and Laurie sends for Mrs. March. Beth recovers from the scarlet fever but is never the same. Beth is overjoyed when her father returns home. Beth attends her sister Meg's wedding. Beth realizes that she is dying. Beth makes Jo promise to take her place as caretaker for her parents. Beth reconciles herself to an early death and tries to make her peace with God. Beth dies.