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Chapter 38 Summary

When Meg’s twins are born, they take over most of her attention. For a long time, she forgets that her husband needs her, too. She spends nearly all of her time with her children, allowing them to interrupt any activity during the day or the night. She shows no interest in social life or in John’s work.

At first, John thinks this is a phase that will pass, but after several months he sees no sign that Meg is interested in spending time with him. He starts a habit of going to a friend’s house for dinner. His friend’s wife is young and, thus far, childless. She spends her time waiting on the men and showing them a good time.

For a while, Meg likes this new arrangement, but soon she finds herself feeling lonely without her husband’s company. When Marmee visits one day, Meg complains that John does not care about her anymore. Marmee disagrees and says that Meg has been pushing John away.

According to Marmee, married life needs balance. Caring for the children should not be Meg’s job alone, but John’s as well. Meg needs to take some time off from her children and show some interest in life outside her home. She needs to get exercise and take care of herself, which will in turn help her care for her husband and children.

Meg decides to accept Marmee’s advice. One evening soon after this conversation, she dresses up, prepares a nice supper, and puts the children to bed early. Daisy falls asleep quickly, but Demi begs to stay up and eat cakes with his parents. Meg says no and goes downstairs to meet John, who is pleasantly surprised to see her looking so pretty and cheerful. The two of them sit down to eat.

Moments after the meal begins, Demi comes downstairs and demands a cake. Meg takes him back to bed, gives him a lump of sugar, and tells him not to return. Demi...

(The entire section is 506 words.)