In Katherine Paterson's novel Lyddie, the title character changes, at least in some ways, throughout the book as she moves through different settings. On the farm that has always been her home, Lyddie is confident and in charge. Since her father left the family and her mother is incapable of coping with her her home and children, Lyddie has become the head of the household. She is responsible, practical, and efficient, as she reveals in the incident with the bear. Lyddie takes charge of the circumstances, stares down the bear, and gets her family to safety in the loft.
At the tavern, however, Lyddie is firmly in the position of a servant. She is always concerned about displeasing the mistress, and she is no longer fully in charge of her circumstances. That said, though, Lyddie works very hard and quickly proves her worth. Over time, the mistress realizes Lyddie's efficiency and gives her more and more responsibility until she is even in charge of the kitchen fire. Lyddie's easy sense of humor, however, has disappeared, for she no longer has her siblings around to laugh and joke with, and Lyddie becomes much quieter and more focused on work.
When Lyddie moves to Lowell, she has a bit of trouble adjusting to life in the boardinghouse. She is not used to living with so many other girls around her own age, and she doesn't really know how to respond to their camaraderie or to Amelia's bossiness or to Betsy's sarcasm. This is a wholly new environment for Lyddie, and while she is grateful to the other girls for wanting to room with her, she usually keeps mostly to herself, often buried in her studies. She never develops deep friendships with the girls, although she is rather surprised that she misses her roommates when they leave Lowell.
In the mill, Lyddie is at first overwhelmed and nearly terrified by the machines, but as she learns her job, her old efficiency and practically surface, and Lyddie again takes charge. She ends up running four looms, even at the company's increased speeds, and she is so focused that she almost becomes a machine herself. Lyddie wants to earn enough money to pay off her father's debts and reunite her family, and she is so driven by that goal that for a while that she cuts herself off from nearly everyone else. She is impatient when she trains Brigid and begins to avoid Diana because she wants nothing to do with a petition that might decrease her income. Lyddie again isolates herself from others as she throws herself completely into her work.