We’re a little over 10 days into the Little Women Read-Along and it’s already time for the first discussion questions post! Ahh! I can’t believe we are this far into the book already.
This week, Suey is hosting the part 1 post and has come up with some awesome questions for all of us. We’ve made it through chapter 17 now!
(For more about our read-along and our schedule, visit my earlier post here.)
1. What are your opinions so far about each of the girls? Do you identify more with one or the other of them? Do you like them, or do they get on your nerves in a way? Which one do you think would be your friend?
Meg is sweet and takes her role as oldest sister seriously, though she struggles with pride and vanity (which does barely get on my nerves). Jo is dramatic and impulsive (which sometimes gets her in trouble), yet brings a playful spirit of leadership to the family, too. Beth is the shy and gentle caregiver who never seems to complain, though I think she deals with pain in her own way. Amy definitely acts the part of the youngest child, trying to tag along or fit in with her older sisters yet showing her own immaturity sometimes.
I think I identify more with Jo and Beth (though I am the baby of my family). They would be my friends 🙂
2.What do you think of Mrs. March aka. Marmee? What’s one of your favorite pieces of advice or lessons she’s taught the girls so far?
Marmee is my favorite!!!! I love how Louisa May Alcott has portrayed her as a leader and as influential in each of the girls’ lives, as a mother should be. With that influence, we also see her vulnerability and profession of flaws. She has offered some great advice already, but I think my favorite is from chapter 16, just before she goes to Mr. March in the hospital:
“Don’t grieve and fret when I am gone, or think that you can be idle and comfort yourselves by being idle and trying to forget. Go on with your work as usual, for work is a blessed solace. Hope and keep busy, and whatever happens, remember that you never can be fatherless.”
And, this quote for Meg is of note:
“Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people by being modest as well as pretty, Meg.”
3 .Do you think that the characterization of these girls and this family is realistic? Explain.
I think each girl has a distinct personality and voice in the book (especially noticeable when reading their thoughts/writings/letters). Bravo to Alcott for her skills! They are, perhaps, over-dramatized in some cases. But maybe it’s because this story was meant to appeal to young women? I’m not sure who the intended audience was, but that’s my guess. The melodrama would make it clearer to a younger reader the flaws and virtues of the characters.
4. What’s your favorite scene or incident so far? And why?
I’m not sure! Maybe the evening spent on the hill with Laurie reading while each girl was occupied with needlework/drawing. That was a peaceful scene, and their discussions of each one’s “little castle” was telling of their personal character. AND, somewhat foreshadowing of things to come.
5. If this is your second (or third etc.) time reading this story, what stands out to you this time?
It’s my first!
6. If this is your first time reading this story, is it meeting your expectations? Or is it different than expected? Explain.
Yes, it is definitely meeting my expectations!!! It is possibly better than I expected. It has been easier reading than I thought it would b. I am pleased with how each chapter is almost a vignette or scene from their daily life instead of all combining with 1 central plot or purpose.
7. How do you feel about Jo cutting off her hair? Was this incident surprising to you? Do you think it’s symbolic of anything?
It didn’t surprise me, because I have seen the 1994 movie adaptation countless times. (side note: I am impressed with how true it stayed to the book *so far*). I think it could be considered a sign of Jo growing up a little, realizing and acting on her ability to help her family.
8. What’s your feeling about the inclusion of poems, letters, stories, plays and etc. into the story?
I like them! They make the story even more unique and add perspective.
9. Any thoughts in particular on the male characters in this story?
Hmm. They seem to be secondary! I like Laurie and think he is good for the March family. He is their connection to a higher class of people, yet is not proud or affected. He is a true friend. Mr. Laurence is very devoted and sweet, especially to Beth, which makes me happy.
10. Are you liking this reading experience? If yes, why? If not, why?
Yes! It’s so much fun to participate in a read along, especially for a “classic”. I have more motivation to read it that way. And, the discussions are always insightful.
That’s it for my part 1 post! Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on Little Women. What are your opinions of this story so far?