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Chapter 41: Learning to Forget
Laurie takes Amyís lecture to heart and decides that he can make Jo respect him even if he canít make her love him. He goes to Vienna to work with some musical friends and tries his hand at composing. He has little success and finally decides- after attending one of Mozartís grand operas that "talent isnít genius." He begins to look for some sort of work to occupy himself even though he doesnít need to work for a living. In the meantime, he keeps up a lively correspondence with both Jo and Amy. Laurie soon realizes that he is actually "forgetting" Jo to the extent that he has to search himself to find the passion for her that he once had. In a final attempt to verify that she will never be his, he writes to her once again asking if she can find it in her heart to love him. Her response is that she is entirely devoted to Beth and that she does not want to hear the word "love" from him again. His thoughts then turn more and more to Amy.
Amy finally receives the once expected proposal from Fred- but she refuses him. She has realized that having money or being the "queen of society" isnít really what she wants after all. From then on she and Laurie write several letters a week while Laurie waits for her to ask him to come. When word comes of Bethís death, he immediately packs up his things and goes to Velvey to be with Amy. It is soon obvious that they are in love. Laurie plans a romantic evening when he will tell her his feelings, but instead the words slip out in a metaphorical way while they are out rowing. Amy notices how well they "pull" together while rowing the boat, and Laurie asks her if she will always pull in the same boat with him. Of course, her answer is "yes."
This concludes the mini-plot begun in Chapter 39.