How has Lyddie changed throughout the book?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let me start by stating how Lyddie has not changed.  Throughout the book, Lyddie is a hard worker.  She works hard on the family farm.  She works hard in her tavern job, and she works extremely hard in textile mills.  When the book ends, Lyddie is planning on going to college, and she will continue to work hard there.   

The change that does happen to Lyddie, is in her motivation.  At the beginning of the novel, Lyddie is very independent and money focused.  She turns down a possible husband in order to purse her own goal of achieving financial independence on her own.  Other people do not really matter to her.  They can either help her earn more money, or Lyddie sees them as obstacles to be beaten or avoided.  By the end of the story though, Lyddie sees the importance of helping her friends as well as herself.  She learns that making money is not the only way to be independent and strong, which is why she chooses to go to Oberlin college instead of marrying Luke Stevens.