The end of this chapter marks the close of Part One. Part One was published on its own, and, when it was well-received, Alcott went on to write and publish Part Two. She ends this first part somewhat artificially, saying that “the curtain falls upon Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.” By mentioning a curtain close, Alcott calls attention to the fact that the story she is presenting to us is artificial and constructed. She seems to acknowledge that her novel has grown more conventional and romantic and less real—as though we are watching a play, with characters that are obviously fictional.