Chapter 42 Notes from Little Women

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Little Women Chapter 42

Jo feels as if the warmth and beauty has gone from the March household after her sister's death. She is in despair, and finds comfort in having her father talk to her as if she were Beth, and in doing the things that Beth used to do around the house. These little things comfort her family, especially her father, and the two of them grow closer in mourning.

Jo begins to wonder if she too will blossom in marriage, like Meg. She has never thought about it before, but she begins to feel that she needs to do something for herself. Her mother suggests that she go back to writing because that always helped her before. Jo thinks that she doesn't have the heart for it, and that the rest of the world doesn't care for what she writes, but her mother urges her to just write a story for their family, never mind the rest of the world.

Jo tries it, and her mother soon finds her scribbling away furiously in the attic once more. Jo produces a little story that has more truth and heart in it than any of her others. She reads it to her family, who laugh and cry over it. Against her wishes, her father sends it to a magazine. When it is published, letters begin pouring in from people all over who read her story and loved it and want more like it. She writes more.

Amy writes home with the news of her engagement. Her mother admits that she had hoped that this would happen after she heard from Amy that she had turned down Fred Vaughn's proposal.

Jo is restless. She goes to the attic, where there is a trunk for each of the daughters with their childhood things inside. She opens her own trunk and begins to go through it. She finds a note written to her from Professor Bhaer. It says to wait for him because he will always come. Jo wishes that he would.

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