Little Women Chapter 28 Summary
by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Download Little Women Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Chapter 28 Summary

Meg wants to be the best housewife a woman can be but sometimes her ambition gets the best of her. In the summer, she decides she wants to make currant jelly. Unfortunately, this turns out to be far more difficult than she expects. She works at it all day but her pots of fruit refuse to set up into a proper jelly.

Since their wedding, Meg has often told John that he can invite a friend home to tea any time without first letting her know. John is proud of his wife for feeling that she can serve an extra person at a moment’s notice. As it happens, he takes advantage of her offer for the first time on the day she fails at jelly making. When he and his friend arrive, they do not find the clean home, cheerful wife, and waiting meal they expect. Instead they find a terrible mess with Meg in tears at the center of it.

When Meg finds out that John has brought a friend home, she gets angry and tells him he should never have done so. Upset and confused, John teases her about her failure at jelly making. She storms out, and John ends up feeding his friend cold food from the pantry. The friend does not mind, but John is angry at Meg for shouting at him and refusing to help him with his guest.

When Meg calms down, she still feels angry with John for teasing her—but she knows she behaved badly, too. Before she married, Marmee warned her that John has a different kind of anger than the March family has. The Marches get angry quickly, say things they do not mean, and forget their words afterward. According to Marmee, John is slower to get angry but also slower to forgive. Remembering this, Meg decides to apologize first. He immediately apologizes for making fun of her, and so their first quarrel ends quickly.

On another occasion, Meg spends too much money. She has always had a weakness for pretty things, and her...

(The entire section is 524 words.)