"Experiments"

I've been reading Louisa May Alcott's classic "Little Women" for the first time since elementary school, and I had forgotten what a charming little book it is. I only remembered bits and pieces of it, and that is mostly from the Winona Rider version of the movie, but of course the book is much better!

I just finished a chapter entitled "Experiments," where the two oldest March sisters find out they have a summer to do as they please. The younger two decide they want to spend their days as carefree as well, and their mother decides this would be a great lesson for them all. The girls neglect their chores and play and do as they please, only to find themselves bored and irritable. Towards the end of the chapter, Mrs. March feigns fatigue and allows their maid to have the day off, and instructs the girls to take care of themselves as they desire. The day turns into a disaster, and they discover just how valuable, meaningful, and enjoyable work can be.

What a wonderful chapter this was! Hard work, especially around the house, is something that I sometimes have a lot of trouble bringing myself to do. The chapter made a point to emphasis the little touches that made their home comfortable--a fresh flower in a vase, a freshly made bed, and so on. They dearly miss these things when no one is up for doing them. I would love to have a home that is as cozy, but my laziness usually wins out.

I found the benefit of a well-kept home appealing, but also just the appreciation of a job well done. The March sisters learn what trouble and discontent happens when one is idle, and what joy one has when work is done well. This is a lesson I still am learning, and I hope it is one I will take to heart.

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2 Comments:

  1. ashley @ twentysixcats said...
    We're at about the same place in the book. :-) I finished that chapter a couple of nights ago. It made me think too!
    Beth said...
    I'm a few chapters ahead of that one now, but that's funny that we're in a similar place!

    This book is so perfect for curling up on the couch with a cup of hot tea. The copy I got from the library is hardback and kinda reminds me of an antique book (though it's not) with a ribbon bookmark attached inside. So sweet!

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