Chapter 39 Notes from Little Women

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Little Women Chapter 39

Laurie stays in Nice for a month, spending a great deal of time with Amy and enjoying her attention. While they are together, their opinions of each other change. Laurie's opinion of Amy improves, while Amy's opinion of Laurie sinks.

One day, Amy says she is going to Valrosa to sketch. She invites Laurie to come with her. While they are there relaxing, Amy urges Laurie to return to his grandfather soon. Amy begins to sketch Laurie as they talk. She tells him that he has changed from the boy that she used to know and she's ready for his secrets, for she know that there is something on his mind. Laurie wonders if she knows what took place between him and Jo, but he doesn't say anything, except to ask about her secret: he has heard rumors about her and Fred Vaughn. She tells him that she will say yes if Fred asks her to marry him.

Laurie asks Amy to tell him what is wrong with him. "'You have grown abominably lazy, and you like gossip, and waste time on frivolous things, you are contented to be petted and admired by silly people, instead of being loved and respected by wise ones.'" Chapter 39, pg. 480 Amy tells Laurie that she despises him because he is lazy and that he does nothing but waste time, money, and disappoint his friends. He has been lazy and miserable and it doesn't look like he's had very much fun either. Laurie is hurt by this. Amy wishes that Jo was with them to help, and Laurie agrees in a way that Amy can guess what Laurie's problem is. Laurie explains what happened with Jo, and hopes to find comfort in Amy, but Amy tells him to take it like a man and to not throw his life away over Jo. She shows him the quick sketch she has done of him lying on the grass smoking a cigar, and then takes out another sketch she made of him years ago, back home, taming a horse. The older picture isn't as well drawn, but it has a spirit that Laurie can see, and the two sketches next to each other drive Amy's point home.

When they get home, Amy asks when she will see Laurie, but he says that he has a prior engagement. Laurie sends word soon after that he has gone to be with his grandfather in Paris.

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