Book Summation: Mr. March (the absent father in Louisa May Alcott's novelLittle Women) almost destroys his relationship when he volunteers to serve in the Civil War as a Union chaplain, then almost damages his health whenever using Union "contraband" (freed slaves growing cotton on freed plantations for the Union battle effort). His partner Marmee must get over her deep resentment towards him after his idealistic dreams are shattered, and present him grounds to have.
Mr. March, idealistic 40 year-old vegetarian, Unitarian minister, and abolitionist. (The author centered March on Bronson Alcott, real-life dad of Louisa May Alcott who wroteLittle Women - except that Bronson Alcott was too old to own fought in the Civil Conflict. )
March's wife Margaret Marie, known as "Marmee. "
Grace Clement, the stunning slave who becomes a nurse.
Ethan Canning, the Illinois lawyer who leases Oak Landing plantation.
Jesse, Zannah, Jimse, Ptolemy, and Zeke who are freed slaves at Oak Getting.
Setting: war scenes in Virginia, domestic moments in Concord, Massachusetts. Oak Getting displays at an unspecified location close to the Mississippi river, medical center views in Washington DC.
Time period: 1861 to late 1862/early 1863, and flashbacks to 10 to twenty years previous.
Title: March refers to Mr. March, the main character, but could also refer to a armed service march.
Viewpoint: First-person and previous tense. It's Mr. March from Chapters 1 through 13, and Chapters 18 and 19. Marmee gets a first-person viewpoint in Chapters 14 through 17.
Part One (Mr. March's viewpoint)
Chapter 1: Mr. March rests down under a tree and writes Marmee a flowery notice. His product has pulled back to tend to their wounded after almost getting destroyed by Confederate soldiers at the struggle of Ball's Bluff in Virginia. He feels guilty about withholding the truth from Marmee of his terrible circumstances. He remembers the way the Confederate troops shot up his fellow military, and thinks of any comrade Silas Stone whom he let drown in the river in order to save himself. He strolls later on to a plantation house that the Union military is using as a field hospital, and realizes that he understands the area: he was there 22 years back.
Chapter 2: Mr. March remembers being an 18 year-old peddler of kitchen trinkets and coming to the plantation house, wanting to make a sale. A young house-slave named Sophistication opens the door; he's struck by her beauty and educated, refined conversation. She invites him into the kitchen where he makes friends with Annie, the make. Nobody wishes his trinkets, but his small assortment of books is victorious him an benefits to the get good at, Augustus Clement. Mr. Clement has a huge library, a luxury for those times. Mr. March disapproves of slavery; even so, he and Mr. Clement relationship strongly within the books and Mr. Clement invites Mr. March to reside at the plantation so long as he desires.
Mr. March continues for a year. Mrs. Clement is an invalid, and Elegance is her personal slave. The Clement son journeys on plantation business for his daddy. Apart from Mr. Clement, March is preferred with Annie the make, a widow with two beautiful children. One night time he starts educating her child Prudence how to learn. Horrified, Annie and Sophistication tell him that it's illegitimate to teach slaves to learn. (Grace is an exception. )
However, Grace, with whom he has recently distributed a forbidden kiss, asks Mr. March to teach Prudence in solution. He agrees. But he's discovered by Harris, the plantation director. Grace remarks responsibility, attempting to protect Annie and Prudence. Mr. Clement makes Mr. March watch Harris give Sophistication a flogging as consequence, and then kicks him from the plantation.
Chapter 3: (Brought to you by kat impatientreader. com) Mr. March, now back the Clement house in the present, helps the impatient cosmetic surgeon tend to the wounded. He incurs Grace who's still living there, maintaining the ailing Mr. Clement. Elegance remembers Mr. March warmly, and helps him with the wounded.
She attracts him up on everything that's took place: while March made a lot of money as a peddler and then became a Unitarian minister and abolitionist, the Clement family endured a sharp drop. Mrs. Clement passed away. The son got killed in a hunting mishap. Mr. Clement sold Annie's kids further south, and Annie drowned herself in the river. Mr. Clement's health disintegrated. Harris remaining, and worse managers ran the plantation in to the ground. Sophistication herself scarcely escaped for sale as a prostitute: only the disfiguring scars on her rear from the long-ago flogging saved her.
Mr. March asks why Sophistication remains with Mr. Clement when the military services surgeon has wanted to get Grace employment in a medical center in Georgetown. Elegance confesses that Mr. Clement is her own daddy, and she feels some loyalty to him. March realizes that he and Sophistication are still interested in one another.
Chapter 4: Mr. March creates another flowery letter to Marmee after his product catches Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. He remembers how he met Marmee through her sibling Daniel Day, a fellow abolitionist and Unitarian minister.
Mr. March switches into town and ceases several military harassing a "rebel" female and her little princess. He studies their conduct to the colonel only to find that the colonel would like him transferred. March is too radical a Christian to be always a comforting chaplain. Plus his abolitionist stance is very unpopular: the Union troops respect freed slaves as future competition for their jobs up North.
The colonel orders March to apply for a position with the "contraband": freed slaves who work captured plantations to aid the Union army's area. March refuses, and the colonel threatens him: obviously the plastic surgeon has written out a grievance that he once saw March and Grace embracing. If March doesn't transfer, the colonel will position the surgeon's complaint in March's armed forces file. In order to avoid a scandal, March bitterly agrees to copy.
Chapter 5: Mr. March remembers being a young minister and moving to Concord, Massachusetts. He rooms with the Thoreau family and makes friends with their eccentric grown son, Henry David. He complies with Ralph Waldo Emerson at a celebration attended by many, including Marmee and her brother, who regularly smuggle slaves to freedom across the underground railroad. He and Marmee sneak away from the get together and consummate their marriage in the forest. That nights they conceive their oldest princess Meg. The next day March marries Marmee in a quiet service in her parents' parlor.
Chapter 6: Mr. March arrives at Oak Getting plantation now being leased to Ethan Canning, a Illinois lawyer. He's stunned at what he views: the house is stripped of furniture, and the dark "contraband" (who haven't been paid in calendar months) are starving and sickly, and must toil sun-up to sundown in the organic cotton fields. Some grudgingly confess that life was better under their past masters the Crofts. Most detrimental of all, one called Zeke has been restricted to a dried up well for stealing a hog to supply his children.
Horrified, March confronts Canning who provides different viewpoint. Zeke stole the hog for his grown up sons who ride with the rebel makes, enjoying the plunder. Evidently Canning inherited a no-win situation when he showed up so late in the cotton-picking season. Now everyone including him must work non-stop or expire of starvation. In addition, Canning gets no safeguard from the inadequate Union garrison against rebel raids. Mr. March listens, both humbled and horrified.
Chapter 7: (Brought to you by kat impatientreader. com) Mr. March remembers how he lost the fortune he had developed as a peddler and sensible investor. In the early times of his matrimony, his only worry centered on Marmee's passionate temper which he found frightening and unseemly. Then when the famous abolitionist John Brown comes to Concord to give a lecture, Mr. March backs Brown's cause fiscally to impress Marmee. Brown programs to buy land and set up a community of freed slaves in the Adirondacks. But Brown mismanages the money over the years, spending it on caches of weaponry. Steadily the Marchs descend so far into poverty that Mr. March's abundant aunt offers to adopt Jo to alleviate them of "the burden of 1 more oral cavity to supply. " Mr. March must literally restrain Marmee from attacking his aunt. The Marchs proceed to a little cottage close to the Emersons, and Meg begins working as a governess to help the family finances. Within an amusing twist (which occurs in Little Women) Jo accepts a part-time paid position to be Aunt March's companion.
Chapter 8: With the Oak Landing silk cotton harvest in, the personnel now have time to wait school taught by Mr. March; he creates Marmee about their progress. Some Union scouts trick a little dark kid named Jimse into using his hand over a kettle. Mr. March tends to Jimse's burned side, feeds him dinner, and then comes asleep with a child in his lap. He wakes to see Jimse's young mom Zannah watching him, and hands over Jimse. The very next day, Zannah leaves him a woven head wear as a thank-you. His curiosity about her grows and he tries to get her to speak up in category. His best scholar Jesse, who is just about the freed slaves' unofficial head, explains that Zannah can't speak because her tongue was cut out years ago by two white men who raped her.
Chapter 9: The egyptian cotton harvest gets dispatched north on the river, and another motorboat arrives filled with donations compiled by Marmee for the freed slaves. They are delighted and Canning allows them a nights celebration before planting the next crop. Canning receives the profits on the sales of the existing crop and pays the workers though he's still with debt. Moved by the actual fact that Canning retained his assurances, the workers hand over a shock: some concealed bales of silk cotton from the previous year. If the Crofts remaining the plantation, the rebels came up in and purchased them to burn off the cotton, nonetheless they managed to hide some. Now they provide it to Canning and he's so pleased that he could have the ability to avoid personal bankruptcy that he allows them another nights party. Mr. March attends and gets overly enthusiastic with drinking, singing, and dancing.
Chapter 10: March wakes the very next day with yellowish fever, a significant recurring condition. Canning rides to the Union garrison to get him a health care provider, but no one desires to help an abolitionist like March. The personnel nurse March back to precarious health. Then your Union garrison withdraws, going out of only a token push for "protection" contrary to the rebels. March vows to remain on with Canning, but begins sleeping in a hiding place in a store-room in the event rebels raid the place.
Chapter 11: Mr. March remembers his life just after abolitionist John Brown's failed raid on the garrison at Harpers Ferry. The South wants prosecution of northerners who supported Dark brown, and March retains a low profile while many of his acquaintances leave the country. Most Northerners such as Nathaniel Hawthorne condemn Brown's willingness to commit assault. Henry David Thoreau is the only one to speak up in Brown's security, comparing him in a separate talk to Jesus.
At Marmee's insistence, March continues to help runaway slaves though he risks arrest under the newly handed down Fugitive Slave Function. The Marchs shelter a slave woman called Flora. Once when they are out, the sheriff comes to the home and will try to bluster his way in with out a search warrant. Only meek little Beth is at home, and later March listens with astonishment as Beth tells him how she stood up to the sheriff and refused to let him in. The Marchs send Flora to basic safety in Canada.
That spring, conflict breaks out. The teenagers from Concord muster in the Cattle Show grounds and make speeches. Mr. March impulsively volunteers to join. Marmee, with tears in her eyes, extends to out to him and he interprets her emotion as pleasure in him and loving support. Later, she clutches his palm hard, and he interprets it the same way. The whole town snacks him like a hero.
Chapter 12: (Presented by kat impatientreader. com) The rebels overrun Oak Landing plantation in the middle of the night time. Mr. March hides, however they seize Canning, taking pictures him in the legs. They get rid of Ptolemy, an old black man, endeavoring to power March out of covering to save lots of him. They torch the cotton areas and take the black children as slaves. Poor Zannah works to become listed on them so she can be with her kid Jimse.
Chapter 13: March and Jesse follow the rebels to a camp in the woods where in fact the rebels get drunk on some homemade liquor that Jesse still left at his cabin and laced with something to make them unwell. As each rebel staggers into the woods to alleviate himself, Jesse kills them and will take their weapons. Jesse attempts to give March a weapon so that March can help him save the kids, but March refuses it: he cannot have a life.
The rebel head questions Canning who can't name anyone happy to pay a ransom for him. March watches in agitation until the rebel innovator verges on taking pictures Canning, then bursts out of covering and shouts that Canning's fiance will pay his ransom (he once noticed the girl's photography). But Canning says that his fiance perished this past year of intake. The rebels connect up both Canning and March. March relapses into his yellow fever.
Zannah, who has been made to have a tendency the campfire, tiptoes around and unties the captives. Jesse begins taking pictures the rebels, and the captives run for safe practices. March recognizes Canning and many of the captives expire, then loses awareness and is left for dead.
Zannah dividends to tend to him, and he discovers her child Jimse is dead. She offers March a lock of Jimse's scalp, then gets March on a mule and requires him to protection. He wakes over a Union ship, being tended by nuns who tell him that Zannah brought him to a Union fort and published a message on her headscarf that he was a Union captain and a "good, kind man. " March is overcome by sorrow.
Part Two (Marmee's viewpoint)
Chapter 14: Marmee sits at Mr. March's bedside in a Georgetown medical center and remembers the afternoon in Concord when he volunteered to join the Union military. Appalled that he could pass away and doom his family to poverty, she stretched out her hands in tears to avoid him. In her ram, he understood full well she didn't want him to become listed on, and he achieved it anyway, and so she gripped his side tightly after to hurt him.
She remembers getting expression that her husband is at the Georgetown hospital, and touring there with young Mr. Brooke, a friend of the family to provide as her escort in the muddy, refugee-crowded chaos that is Washington DC. She remembers achieving a beautiful black nurse (Elegance Clement, mysterious to her initially) who warns her that Mr. March is evolved by his condition. Marmee is horrified to find him delirious on the yellow fever ward. An abrasive Nurse Flynn will answer none of her questions. Overwhelmed, Marmee meekly leaves and comes after Mr. Brooke to the squalid rooming house of Mrs. Jamison, which is the greatest lodging that they can enter the overcrowded city.
Chapter 15: Marmee comes back to the hospital where Mr. March lays untended, and realizes she must change his mattress sheets and clean him up herself. She incurs the odious Nurse Flynn and attempts hard to be polite but soon manages to lose her temper and throws a bowl of soup on the terrible female. An orderly Cephus White detects her a place to sit until Nurse Flynn will go off her shift. A union chaplain offers Marmee her husband's personal belongings. Marmee comes back to the ward in time to see nurse Grace Clement stroking March's face. She amazing things if indeed they were fans, but cannot confront them because Mr. Brooke rushes up joyfully, declaring that he hears Mr. March is awake.
Chapter 16: (Presented by kat impatientreader. com) Marmee sits with March as Elegance and Mr. Brooke withdraw to allow them their privacy. She asks him if Sophistication was his fan and even shakes him as he lapses into unconsciousness. Halting herself, she undergoes his belongings instead and discovers the lock of Negro mane which she considers is from Grace (and which is actually Jimse's, given by Zannah in Section 13).
She searches the hospital for Grace who has truly gone off her transfer. The black laundresses, who think Elegance is a snob, tell Marmee that Elegance lives in the household of your Dr. Hale; they imply Sophistication is having an affair with the doctor.
Horrified, Marmee goes to Dr. Hale's sizeable mansion and requirements to consult with Grace. Immediately she can easily see that Grace appears to be a good friend to both the Hales and not a mistress.
Grace says Marmee from when she first met March 22 years ago to the hug that she and March distributed that led him to transfer to Oak Getting. She also fills in all the war hardships that she pieced alongside one another from March's delirious ramblings, and that he neglected to set up his letters to Marmee. She admits that March is infatuated with her, but strains that it's not a real love but an idealistic fascination to her as a symbol of flexibility.
Marmee confronts Sophistication with the lock of Negro wild hair within her husband's possessions. Grace unwinds her headscarf and shows Marmee that her wild hair is totally different, then correctly identifies the scalp as owned by a kid. Marmee leaves, knowing that Grace wasn't her husband's lover. But she still resents her partner for his infatuation with Grace and especially for not writing truthfully to her about his wartime hardships.
Chapter 17: Mr. March's health gets worse. Grace instructs Marmee that his extreme guilt over those whom he wasn't able to save is sabotaging his recovery. She urges Marmee to forgive him and help him forgive himself. Marmee realizes that she will love her man specifically for his self-destructive idealism. She will try to make March observe that what is important is your time and effort he placed into trying to help people, and not the outcome of whether or not he managed to save them. She further instructs him that some things such as conflict have implications that are too great for any one individual like him to change, and that to believe usually is prideful: he needs to let himself off of the hook. He asks her to leave so they can sleep.
Chapter 18 (Mr. March's point of view): March wakes to find that Marmee has went back to Concord to nurse Beth through a episode of scarlet fever. Marmee has kept him a note, urging him to come back home as soon as he's recovered. March slowly recovers and tries to help Elegance around the hospital. He tends to the orderly Cephus White (who helped out Marmee in Section 15); the poor boy, dealing with a war-wound himself, has to have his lower leg amputated, and then he dies. March is filled up with guilt, and Grace snaps at him to give up wallowing in it and can get on along with his life. He snaps again that she actually is so commendable she can't possibly know any thing about guilt.
Grace then tells him her darkest solution: Mr. Clement's boy, her half-brother, didn't expire in a hunting mishap. Grace taken him after he raped her, knowing she was his half-sister. Even worse, their father intended her to be his son's mistress. Sophistication feels that every disaster that happened to the Clements later on came from her act of violence.
She tells March that she lives with her guilt by shifting with her life and attempting to do good. He eagerly determines to go with her to help the Negro soldiers as the war progresses. She angrily instructs him that the dark-colored race must manage its own destiny, and there will be black preachers and healers who is able to do a greater job for the black troops than they can. She tells him his place has been those who truly need him: his family.
Chapter 19 (Mr. March's viewpoint): March returns home to Marmee and his daughters in Concord. He is still wracked with guilt, but he is aware he must be there for his family. The End.
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