Little Women Presentation

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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Little Women Little 8 th Graders Jackie Long, Shannon Beebie September 9, 2013

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Synopsis of Part 1 This story takes place in the late 1800’s. it revolves around the lives of four sister, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The girls live with their mother, whilst their father is fighting in the army. The book mostly focuses on Jo, but it also takes you on a journey through all the girls’ lives. They all have their ups and downs, but they’re all on the right path to becoming Little Women .

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Habit 1-Be Proactive “How would you like it to be shut up for hours with a nervous, fussy old lady, who keeps you trotting, is never satisfied, and worries you till you’re ready to fly out the window or cry?” (page 2) Obviously Jo, the main character, doesn’t have the greatest job, but she stays proactive and finds an upside to the whole situation as shown in the quote below. “…The training she received at Aunt March’s was just what she needed, and the thought that she was doing something to support herself made her happy.” (page 51) Not only is Jo proactive in the beginning, but she keeps that attitude throughout the book. For example, when her closest sibling Beth becomes very ill she tries her best to keep her head up. This was what she said when she had just found out that her sister was dying. “I don’t feel so forlorn and will try to bear it if it comes.” (page 258)

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Begin with the end in Mind Habit 2 At first, Jo does not begin with the end in mind. “Jo’s ambition was to do something very splendid. What is was she had no idea as yet, but it left for time to tell her…” (page 51) But in time, Jo takes a chance and sees someone about getting her stories published in the newspaper. The chance pays off, for in time she may receive some money for her work. She finally feels that she’s on the right path. “I am so happy, for in time I may be able to support myself and help the girls. Jo’s breath gave out here, and wrapping her head in the paper, she bedewed her little story with a few natural tears, for to be independent and earn the praise of those she loved were the dearest wishes of her heart, and this seemed to be the first step toward that happy end.” (page 214)

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Put First Things First Habit 3 “Her greatest affliction in the fact that she couldn’t read, run and ride as much as she liked.” (page 52) Jo was always too occupied with chores and helping her Aunt March’s with her needs, that she didn’t have enough time for herself. She has time to take care of other people’s needs, but no time to fulfill her own. “For two or three hours the sun lay warmly in the high window, showing Jo seated on the old sofa, writing busily…” (page 206) This quote is from later in the story, when Jo is finally starting to take time out of her day to enjoy herself. She is on her way to becoming more of a prioritizer , and less of a yes-man.

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Habit 4 Think Win-Win It was near Christmas time, and instead of getting presents, the four daughters were going to get a dollar each. At first the girls were going to spend their money on themselves, but Jo mentioned that her mother’s slippers were worn out, so this inspired the other siblings to each spend their dollar on something nice for their Marmee . “…Jo forgot how tired she was as she sat up to hold the slippers nearer to the blaze.” “They are quite worn out. Marmee must have a new pair. said Jo.” (page 8) Their mother got wonderful gifts and that left the girls with the feeling of satisfaction for their good deed. The girls have a reading club, and Jo proposed to have Laurie, their good friend, join the club. Meg and Amy were opposed to having him join, but Jo convinced them to let him join. “Now then, vote again. Everybody remember its our Laurie, and say, ‘Aye!” “ Aye!Aye!Aye ! Replied three voices at once.” (page 143) In both situations, Jo thought Win-Win.

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Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood Habit 5 “…but something held and turned her round, just in time to see Amy throw up her hands and go down, with a sudden crash of rotten ice, and the splash of water.” (page 104) This is all happened because of a quarrel the two sisters had. So Amy decided to burn Jo’s book full of her writing. Jo said that she would never forgive Amy, until now when she saw how fragile Amy was drowning in the water. Later in the story Laurie plays a prank on Jo’s sister Meg and interferes with her love life. Jo became very angry and started stomping around the room calling Laurie vulgar names. Laurie came over to their house and had a chat with Mrs. March. “When they were called in, Laurie was standing by their mother with such a penitent face that Jo forgave him on the spot.” (page 283) These are two examples from the beginning and end of the story where Jo does not first understand, but then she realizes to forgive and understand.

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Habit 6 Synergize Amy had just gotten over a cold, so she politely asked to go to “The Seven Castles” (a play) with her two sisters. Meg tried to compromise with Amy, and said she could tag along, but Jo was quick to refuse. “You cant sit with us, for our seats are reserved and you musn’t sit alone.” (page 98) If Jo would have synergized, she could have avoided having her book burnt to a crisp. Towards the end of the story, Jo is still able to synergize. Laurie is refusing to communicate with his grandpa, and is planning to run away, but Jo decides to help him by going to talk to his grandfather. “If I get grandpa to apologize for the shaking, will you give up running away? Asked Jo.” “Yes, but you won’t do it.” (page 297) Jo comprised with Laurie and it worked out because Laurie and his grandfather made up, and he didn’t run away.

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Sharpen the Saw Habit 7 “…I do want to by Undine and Sintran for myself. I’ve wanted it so long, said Jo, who was a bookworm.” (page 2) In the time that this book was published, women weren’t really educated, they were just supposed to be wives, and mothers. But Jo, educates herself throughout the story by reading and writing. “For two or three hours the sun lay warmly in the high window, showing Jo seated on the old sofa writing busily…” (page 206)

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Conclusion Jackie- I, personally, would not recommend this book because it seemed to me that there was no point in more than half the things that happened in the story. I felt like there were no plot events that occurred. Also the books was pretty dull, and I found it was hard to stay focused on the “plot events” that were happening in the book. Shannon- I would not recommend this book to someone our age because I believe it would be hard for them to understand, considering that some of the story is written in Old English . I would also not recommend the book because nothing really exciting happens, there’s really no climax or plot twists or anything like that.

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