Little Women Chapter 4
The holidays are over, and the March sisters have to go back to work and school. Meg is a governess for the King family's children. Jo is a companion to Aunt March, their father's aunt, who is a wealthy widow. Amy has to go to school. Beth studies at home and helps around the house. Mother was involved with the Soldier's Aid Societies.
They each have big troubles, but talent as well. Meg's big trouble is the fact that they are poor. Amy's biggest problem is that her nose is too flat. But Amy could draw very well. "'Little Raphael,' as her sisters called her, had a decided talent for drawing, and was never so happy as when copying flowers, designing fairies, or illustrating stories with queer specimens of art." Chapter 4, pg. 47 Beth takes care of kittens and dolls that are tossed aside. Jo likes to write.
That evening they sew together. They tell each other about their days. Jo tells the others that she had to read boring essays to Aunt March until she fell asleep, at which point Jo could take out another, more exciting book, to read for herself. Jo accidentally laughed out loud while reading and woke Aunt March up. To show how frivolous Jo's preferred book was, Aunt March asked Jo to read her book to her, but she became so involved that she then asked her to go back and start at the beginning. When she was about to go home, Jo realized she forgot something and went back into Aunt March's house, where finds her reading Jo's book.
Amy tells her sisters about Susie Perkins, a girl at her school, who drew a picture of the teacher on her chalkboard. She tells them that Susie was made to stand in front of the class holding the picture as punishment.
Beth tells that she saw Mr. Laurence give a fish to a woman who was turned down by the shopkeeper when she asked to do work in exchange for food.