Chains Summer Reading and Book Report In the year of 1776, America was much different than it is today. Back then, we were ruled by the British RoyalFamily, and we only had a total of thirteen colonies. Chains was based in the time of slavery and of the Revolutionary War. Isabel and Ruth were slaves for Miss Finch; in her will, Miss Finch wrote for the sisters to be freed once she had passed. After the funeral, the will could not be acquired. Now the girls were slaves, not free. After this unfortunate event, Isabel was confident that she could find the lawyer who had written the will to prove that they were free.
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The sisters were then returned to the slave market and sold to the Lockton’s, together. The relationship between the British Government and the American Colonies started to crumble. There were several reasons for this. Some people in the Colonies, like the Lockton’s, hadn’t yet decided which side they are on, Loyalists or Patriots, so they played on both. These people, the ” half pats”, would get information from America that would be useful in the time of war, and transmit this information to the British Government. This information proved to be crucial to help the Patriots win the Revolutionary War.
The Patriots desperately wanted their independence, because there was an official religion and mostly, of the incredibly heavy taxes set in America. New York City was very different than it is today; no taxi’s, no Time Square, and absolutely no skyscrapers, but there was tension in the air as if something on a large scale was about to occur. There were grand mansions on the street corners, people going to the shops in carriages, and mostly there were slaves. During the time of war, soldiers were rummaging through houses looking for anything made of lead, for ammunition.
The Loyalists and the Patriots were both using spies to help them gain the advantage in the Revolutionary War. The British Government was using the Lockton’s as well as other ” half pats”, while the Patriots were using Isabel and other slaves for spies. Many of the ” half pats” we’re under surveillance by the continental army during the time of the Revolutionary War. The first major theme of Chains is determination, as a result of Isabel being very determined to find the lawyer that had written Miss finch’s will to prove that she and her sister were free.
Even though Mr. Roberts acquired the sisters from Miss Finch, he sold the sisters to the Lockton’s. Isabel told Mr. Roberts that in Miss Finch’s will the sisters should be freed. He informed Isabel that was a lie and said she couldn’t read. Isabel still was very determined to prove him wrong. The second important theme is patience. If it wasn’t for Isabel having abundant patience, then the sisters’ wouldn’t be in the place that they are now. Isabel worked every day for hours upon hours and did not complain about anything.
She would clean, sweep, wash, dry and any other job that Master or Madam Lockton needed, yet still she had patience that something great would finally happen to them. The third major theme of this book is family. When Isabel and Ruth’s mother died, all of her belongings were given to the girls, but once Miss Finch passed, those belonging weren’t Isabel’s and Ruth’s anymore. When they were sold, Isabel took some flower seeds to plant as a memoir of their mother. As if it couldn’t get any worse, Ruth was then separated from Isabel to be Madam Lockton’s personal slave.
Family was very important because since Isabel lost Ruth, she has no family left. Chains could greatly change the world today. First, if we all learned to appreciate all of our belongings and not crave more and more, then we would all be a completely altered people. In the book, Isabel was taken from her former home and put in a new dwelling with basically nothing. The only thing that Isabel and Ruth were able to snatch were a handful of their mothers flower seeds. Ruth didn’t even get to grab her precious doll that her mother had made for her before she had passed.
Secondly, if we started to spend more time with our family, then the world could be changed as well. The only family that Isabel and Ruth had was their mother, and when she passed they had no one left, not one single family member they knew. Lastly, if we were all as determined as Isabel was, then the world would also be forever changed. We would be determined to finish homework on time, get good grades on tests, and mostly, be determined to follow the golden rule. Treat others like you would like to be treated. If that happened, then there would be no murders, no stealing, basically no crime, and in schools nobullying.
Isabel was so determined to find her former owner’s will to prove they were free. If she couldn’t find the will the consequences would be life as a slave. I feel as if I am changed on the inside, because all that Isabel and Ruth went through was so extreme. If I was in their place, I would probably not be as determined, or as courageous as either of them. I can definitely relate to Isabel, because it appeared Ruth had special needs. It seemed she did not talk very much and when she did it sounded as if she was in her own little world.
I relate to this because I have a brother with special needs. I feel responsible to keep an eye on him, help him, and mostly protect him. Like Isabel I need to protect him from from the dangers of other people and of many items that could harm him. I really started to appreciate most things that we take for granted like having a family, the house that I live in, my iPad, my iPod and my phone, and a bed. Isabel and Ruth were explaining that to make their bed more firm they would add corn husk to it, while we all complain about springs or foam.
All of the little things that we don’t really notice all come into play when they’re gone. I already knew that slavery was quite a big deal, but after reading it from a slaves point of view totally changes what I though was real history. I also didn’t realize that the tension between the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain was so large. I didn’t know that the British government were using Loyalists as ” half pats” to gain information from the patriots. This book helped me learn so much about the relationship between the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain.
I really did love this book but there were a couple of things that didn’t quite make sense to me, like, what did Mr. Roberts do to the will at the beginning? Or did he do anything to it at all? The main part that I did dislike very much was when they would talk and they would use slang words, and I would get lost and have to reread to finally understand. Overall this was an excellent book. It described the tension between the Colonies and Great Britain, why the Patriots and the Loyalists split, why the Loyalists still remained in the Colonies, and why the Patriots sought independence and freedom.
In conclusion Chains tells us to appreciate the things that we have and the people that we love. This book is not just a book that has a story that goes along with it, it is a moral that we all should abide by. Just think, if we all followed all of the themes and morals in this book, we could say we are pretty close to perfect. To be and to follow all of the themes and morals are nearly impossible but if we believe that we can, we can achieve anything.