In Avi's young adult novel The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, describe why Zachariah thought that he and Charlotte should be friends. 

1 Answer | Add Yours

lhc's profile pic

lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Charlotte Doyle's social station more or less ensured that she would never fraternize with Zachariah, who is a poor, uneducated, black man.  However, in these unique circumstances, Zachariah makes a fairly logical argument as to why they might be friends, saying that "you, the sole girl, and I, the one black, are special on this ship."  As it becomes more apparent that Captain Jaggery isn't exactly mentally stable, Charlotte finds that she is in need of a friend; furthermore, freed from the constraints of her social class and her parents' expectations, she begins to appreciate Zachariah for his individuality and worth as a person, not just as a representative of a lower social station.  This newfound allegiance is tested when mutiny is imminent, because her upbringing requires Charlotte to obey laws and respect authority, and that means taking Jaggery's side; however, when his cruelty and irrationality are directed at Zachariah, she begins to question the worth of the true person underneath the facade of the social station, which is the beginning of some pretty profound shifts in her thinking and outlook. 

We’ve answered 317,460 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question