Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains Character Analysis

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Throughout the novel, Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson the protagonist, Isabel, must face the brutal inequalities and inhumane treatment of a slave during the Revolutionary war in 1777 in New York. Everyday Isabel must face the wrath of her monstrous master, Madame Anne Lockton. On one occasion she changes Isabel’s name to Sal because it was “more suitable” (55). The woman completely stripped Isabel of her own identity, and this small action shows how much power a master had over their slave, who could not speak back without fear of punishment. Another form of punishment was locking Isabel in a potato bin, “That was more than half filled with potatoes and smelled of damp earth and worms. There was not enough room to sit up, but lying down was like lying in a bed of rocks” (282). Not providing food or water, Anne practically left Isabel to die in a…show more content…
A boy named Curzon who is slave fighting with the Patriots describes New York as, “A ball tossed between the Loyalist and Patriots. Right now the Patriots hold it” (40). The two groups of people at war have completely different viewpoints; the rebels fight for their freedom, but the British worship a king. Even though initially in the novel the Patriots control the city of New York, British forces fight back, “The British army paraded up Broadway the next day” (185). During this event, many of the rebel flee New York, and the British take complete authority of the city. Within the issues between the two groups, Isabel acts as a messenger for the Patriots (277). She delivers notes and messages to captains across the city who are restricted in their communication, because they are prisoners of the British. This is a rarity for a girl slave to be involved in the political issues, especially because her master is in support of the king, but she is assisting the rebel

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