Little Women Summary

Little Women Summary
  • Page:
  • Words:
  • Downloads:
Disclaimer: This work has been donated by a student. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service.

The Novel Little Women was composed by the American Author Louisa May Alcott. It follows the lives of 4 sisters, namely Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth. The novel delves into their transition from childhood to womanhood and has a loose relation to the author herself and her three sisters. This novel can be classified as a semi-autobiographical or autobiographical novel. This text, therefore, presents a plot overview of the novel.

A Well-Written Synopsis of the Novel

This story begins in Concord, Massachusetts, barely a few days before Christmas day in 1860. The principal characters are the four March girls. These are boyish jo (15 years), Motherly Meg (16 years), frail but pious Beth (13 years) and Amy, the elegant one (12 years).  They live alone with Mrs. March, their mother. Mr. March, their father has volunteered as a chaplain in the Union army, abandoning his family to fend for themselves. Although poor, the March family has a rich spirit. They are strengthened by the familial love and strong Christian values.

On the Christmas origin, these girls each receive copies of the pilgrim’s progress. It is an allegory about Christian morals. They resolve to read the book each day and put its teachings into practice. Jo and Meg meet Lurie, the grandson of a neighbor. They become friends, and Mr. Laurence even adopts the girls as his surrogate granddaughters. Mr. Brooke, Laurie’s tutor, also becomes a close friend and takes a liking to Meg.

In the following year, the sisters encounter temptations that put their readings of the book to test. Meg, in her vanity, burns one lock of her hair. Amy, who has a conceited nature, gets beaten in the presence of her classmates after being caught hiding pickled limes inside her desk. Furthermore, out of anger, Jo allows Amy to slip into an icy river. As the year drew to an end, they discover their father has been taken ill. Mrs. March rushes to Washington, D.C, to attend to him.

Meanwhile, Beth catches scarlet fever. She becomes so ill that the March sisters and Hannah, their servant fear for her survival. Beth finally recovers on the morning their mother comes back from Washington. Everyone feels relieved. On Christmas day, Laurie breaks the good news that Mr. March has returned home early. Mr. march then probes his daughters and is rather pleased with their high moral stance even in his absence. After that, Mr.  Brooke approaches Meg and asks for her hand in marriage. She accepts on condition that they wait three years. Everyone is excited, except Jo, who prefers her sister to remain at home.

The second part begins with Mr. Brooke and Meg’s wedding. They hold a simple wedding ceremony at the home of the March family. Meg and Brooke after that begin their family life in a modest home at the Dovecot. Meg eventually gives birth to female twins, Demi and Daisy shortly after. Meanwhile, Jo is focusing on her writing in earnest. Soon afterward, she begins selling several poems and stories to a local newspaper. After that, she sues her publication proceeds to send Mrs. March and Beth on holiday. On the other hand, Amy has become a confidante to Aunt March due to her elegant demeanor.

Likewise, she also leaves a good impression of a distant wealthy relative, Aunt Carol. She awards Amy with a trip to Europe in which they travel together. A short while later, Jo decides to relocate to New York for the winter season to evade Laurie, due to his infatuation with her. Jo then meets a warm-hearted German professor called Fredrich Bhaer while he was working as a governess within a boarding house.

Upon returning home after her New York stint, Jo travels back home. Laurie approaches her and asks for her hand in marriage. However, jo turns down his request leaving Laurie devastated. Mr., Laurence after that, offers to take him for a trip to Europe. There, Laurie meets Amy shortly afterward. In the meantime, Beth’s health is deteriorating back at home. Jo then takes her for a holiday one last time to the seashore. Shortly after, Beth passes on. The news of Beth’s passing reaches Amy, but she finds comfort in the friendship she has with Laurie. Laurie then comes to the epiphany that all along, Amy was his true love. They both fall in love and elope. However, they come back home on the eve of jo’s 25th birthday. The same night, Bhaer visits them by surprise. He asks for Jo’s hand in marriage towards the conclusion of this visit, and Jo gladly accepts.

Five years later, Bhaer and Jo are married with two boys. They inherit the house that belonged to aunt march upon her death. Bhaer and Jo turn it to a school named Plumfield. This book concludes with a birthday party celebrating the 60th birthday of Mrs. March. The whole March family gathers around the apple orchard and reminisces on how they are blessed to have each other. Mrs. March finally acknowledges that there is no greater joy than to experience her love for her family.