Little Women

Explain Aunt Marche's attempts to steer her nieces into the proper future and marriage. How does she see Mr.Brooke differently than the parents see him?

make sure they are supported by examples in the story.

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

Her parents like Mr. Brooke and want her to be happy. They made a love match; they want the same for their daughter. Aunt march had this to say;

"Aunt March put on her glasses and took a look at the girl, for she did not know her in this new mood. Meg hardly knew herself, she felt so brave and independent, so glad to defend John and assert her right to love him, if she liked. Aunt March saw that she had begun wrong, and after a little pause, made a fresh start, saying as mildly as she could, Now, Meg, my dear, be reasonable and take my advice. I mean it kindly, and don't want you to spoil your whole life by making a mistake at the beginning. You ought to marry well and help your family. It's your duty to make a rich match and it ought to be impressed upon you.

Father and Mother don't think so. They like John though he is poor.

Your parents, my dear, have no more worldly wisdom than a pair of babies.

I'm glad of it, cried Meg stoutly.

Aunt March took no notice, but went on with her lecture. This Rook is poor and hasn't got any rich relations, has he?

No, but he has many warm friends.

You can't live on friends, try it and see how cool they'll grow. He hasn't any business, has he?

Not yet. Mr. Laurence is going to help him.

That won't last long. James Laurence is a crotchety old fellow and not to be depended on. So you intend to marry a man without money, position, or business, and go on working harder than you do now, when you might be comfortable all your days by minding me and doing better? I thought you had more sense, Meg.

I couldn't do better if I waited half my life! John is good and wise, he's got heaps of talent, he's willing to work and sure to get on, he's so energetic and brave. Everyone likes and respects him, and I'm proud to think he cares for me, though I'm so poor and young and silly, said Meg, looking prettier than ever in her earnestness.

He knows you have got rich relations, child. That's the secret of his liking, I suspect.

Aunt March, how dare you say such a thing? John is above such meanness, and I won't listen to you a minute if you talk so, cried Meg indignantly, forgetting everything but the injustice of the old lady's suspicions. My John wouldn't marry for money, any more than I would. We are willing to work and we mean to wait. I'm not afraid of being poor, for I've been happy so far, and I know I shall be with him because he loves me, and I . . .

Meg stopped there, remembering all of a sudden that she hadn't made up her mind, that she had told `her John' to go away, and that he might be overhearing her inconsistent remarks.

Aunt March was very angry, for she had set her heart on having her pretty niece make a fine match, and something in the girl's happy young face made the lonely old woman feel both sad and sour.

Well, I wash my hands of the whole affair! You are a willful child, and you've lost more than you know by this piece of folly. No, I won't stop. I'm disappointed in you, and haven't spirits to see your father now. Don't expect anything from me when you are married. Your Mr. Book's friends must take care of you. I'm done with you forever."


Little Women/ Part I/ Chapter 23