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Little Women

Little Women


by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women Chapter 22 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 22

Pleasant Meadows

  • Beth gets better and can actually move from her room and lie on the sofa in the living room.
  • Beth's sisters continue to care for her.
  • Amy returns home from Aunt March's house.
  • The family receives news that Mr. March is also getting better and might come home soon.
  • Jo and Laurie come up with all kinds of crazy plans to celebrate Christmas.
  • Christmas Day is wonderful – Beth is mostly better, Mr. March is going to be home soon, and Jo and Laurie make a snow sculpture just outside the window to amuse Beth. In the mouth of the snow maiden is a scroll, and on the scroll is a song about Beth written to the tune of a Christmas carol by Jo.
  • Unlike the previous Christmas, each sister has a gift that she really wanted – Meg has a new silk dress, Jo has the book she wanted last year, and Amy has a print of the painting that she fell in love with at Aunt March's. Even Marmee has a gift – a brooch that incorporates locks of hair from all four girls. (Hair jewelry was a popular keepsake in the nineteenth century – remember, photographs were rare and expensive.)
  • Beth says that she just wishes she could have her father back. Just as she says so, Laurie comes in with another "present" – Mr. March, just arrived home, accompanied by John Brooke.
  • Everyone hugs and kisses and greets each other. Even Beth gets up and runs to give her father a hug.
  • After a comic interlude in which they find Hannah behind the door, crying over the turkey she forgot to leave in the kitchen, Mr. March and Beth sit down.
  • Mr. March tells the family about his journey and about John Brooke's kindness.
  • The family sits down and has a wonderful Christmas dinner. John Brooke, Mr. Laurence, and Laurie all eat with them.
  • The girls talk about the contrast between their previous Christmas – remember it, back in Chapter 1? – and this Christmas.
  • Mr. March comments on the change in each girl's demeanor. He notices that Meg is no longer so vain and works harder, that Jo is more feminine, that Amy is less selfish, and that Beth is less shy.
  • Beth thinks about Pilgrim's Progress, especially about the part where Christian, the allegorical main character, gets to rest in a beautiful meadow in the middle of his pilgrimage.
  • The chapter ends with Beth playing the piano and singing a hymn to the family.

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 22

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