CHAPTER 1: PLAYING PILGRIMS
In this, the opening chapter, the reader meets the four main characters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The girls are trying to decide what to get each other for Christmas. This year, however, their father is away at war and funds are limited. The girls finally decide that they will each by a gift for Marmee instead of a gift for themselves. When Marmee returns home, the girls learn that she has received a letter from their father. The girls and their mother gather in front of the fire and read the letter.
CHAPTER 2: A MERRY CHRISTMAS
The girls wake early on Christmas morning to discover that their mother has placed a different colored book under each of their pillows. They prepare breakfast and then sacrifice it to another family in need down the street. The girls then give Marmee her gifts and perform a play, Operatic Tradegy. Dinner comes as a surprise to the girls when they learn that old Mr. Laurence has provided them with ice cream, bonbons, and flowers.
CHAPTER 3: THE LAURENCE BOY
Jo and Meg attend a New Year's Eve party at Mrs. Gardiner's house. There is much commotion getting the two girls ready as they try to make the best of their old dresses and gloves. Jo tries to curl Meg's hair but only burns the ends off in a great tragedy. At the party, Jo meets Laurence, the grandson of old Mr. Laurence. He tells Jo that he would like to be called Laurie instead of his given name, Theodore, because classmates had teased him in the past. The girls return from the party and share their experiences with their sisters.
CHAPTER 4: BURDENS
In this chapter, the reader learns a great deal about each of the personalities of the little women. The narrator tells the reader that Mr. March lost his property while trying to help an unfortunate friend and because of this, Meg and Jo had found work outside the home to help support the family. Meg spends her days teaching small children as a governess, but could not...