Lyddie Katherine Patterson Analysis

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Petitions are, in many cases, controversial. They are often signed in protest of things such as unfair pay, civil rights, or unsafe working conditions. Oftentimes the signers of these petitions risk their jobs and their reputations. “Lyddie” by Katherine Paterson is the story of a young girl coming of age in mid nineteenth century New England. Her family is indebted, and eventually Lyddie makes her way to Lowell to start life as a factory girl, leaving behind her younger brother, sisters, and ailing mother, in pursuit of her new job. Though Lyddie does well in the factory, the working conditions there are deplorable. So when Lyddie’s friend, Diana Goss, begins to circulate a petition that argues for shortened hours, Lyddie has a difficult…show more content…
The most basic dilemma in this situation is that there isn’t a farm to go back to. “They’d take July off, the two of them, go back to the farm, but it was a vain dream… There would be nothing to eat there. The cover was gone and no crops planted. (Page 140)” When Lyddie left for Lowell, no one was left to maintain the farm, only the Stevenses, who agreed to monitor the farm, but nothing more. With no one to tend to it, the farm is obviously not fertile. Having no food and little money, living in the farm would be impossible.
The farm is the only real home Lyddie has known. If she can’t return there, there is no where for her to go.
This petition is an invitation to be blacklisted. Lyddie’s survival is based solely on her employment at the Lowell mill, and more harm than good will come of signing the petition. Lyddie’s goal of reuniting her family, the goal she is so faithful to, can simply no longer be accomplished. There is nowhere for Lyddie to go in the event that she is jobless, and everything she has done to get to this point will be fruitless. Everything that Lyddie has sacrificed, everything she has worked to do, will be completely counteracted by the signing of Diana’s
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