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Chapter 20: Confidential
The girls along with Laurie and Mr. Laurence enjoy the reunion with Marmee. Marmee visits Amy at the Auntís house and encourages her to hang in there a bit longer. Amy displays the ring which Aunt March has already given her and begs to be allowed to wear it as a reminder to keep from being selfish.
Mrs. March confides in Jo, telling her that Mr. Brook-whom she now calls "John"-has asked permission to court Meg. Jo is not the least bit happy about it as she had planned for Meg to marry Laurie. Her argument is that Laurie is handsome and rich, but in reality she simply isnít willing to "let go" of any of her sisters, nor is she really quite ready to grow up herself.
Marmee makes a mistake in thinking that she can confide in Jo about Johnís feelings. Jo is not nearly as grown-up as her mother thinks she is, and she certainly is not ready to give up her sister to someone who might take her away. More than that, however, Jo has heard Megís complaints about their current poverty and her desire for some of the things their wealthier friends have; Marmee has never been subjected to these complaints. Thus, although her motives are partly selfish, Jo is sincere in wanting Meg to marry someone with money.