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MonkeyNotes-Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Chapter 26: Artistic Attempts

Summary

Amy has been experimenting with one media after another in her artistic creations. Although she is never satisfied with her own attempts, her artistic endeavors have brought her into contact with many people. She seems to come by social graces naturally and makes many friends. Amyís greatest weakness is that "she wants to move about in the best society without knowing what the best really is."

Amyís attempts to be a socialite lead to a minor disaster. She decides to throw an expensive party for the girls in her drawing class. She buys expensive food and plans to rent a fancy carriage to take them all riding. The first day is somewhat rainy, so when no one shows, it is assumed that everyone decided to wait for the next day as had previously been arranged in case of inclement weather. But on the second day, only one girl comes. Amy entertains Miss Elliot valiantly as her sisters quickly hide away half of the prepared food. When it is over, Amy admits that it was a failure and asks everyone to refrain from mentioning it for at least a month.


Notes

Amy displays a charming dignity in spite of the failure of her attempt to put on a classy party. The most important lesson she has learned-and one more effective because the narrator doesnít lecture the reader about it-is that wealth canít be pretended and acting like one is a part of high society doesnít make it so, nor does it gain inroads with those who really are.

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