In Riding Freedom, compare and contrast the character traits of Charlotte and James.

Charlotte and James in Riding Freedom are both intrepid characters who know what they want and are unafraid of change. While James proves to be more cautious than Charlotte, Charlotte will not let anything stand between her and her goals.

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We learn a lot more about Charlotte, our protagonist, than we do about James in this great novel. Charlotte is a go-getter, a trailblazer, and a woman who is not about to let anything such as her gender or her status as an orphan get in her way. Early on, Charlotte realizes that life in the New Hampshire orphanage, with limited access to her beloved horses, is not for her. She therefore makes a plan to run away. We are once again shown her resourcefulness when she disguises herself as a boy when she realizes that being a girl comes with limitations. Charlotte is a character never happy to accept the status quo, which is arguably why she became the first American woman to vote.

I would argue that James Birch shares Charlotte's free spirit and independence, which is showcased by the fact that he, together with Frank Stevens, gives up his job working as a stable boy for Ebeneezer in Rhode Island to head for California and start a stage company. In the aftermath of Charlotte's injury, however, James proves himself to be far more pessimistic than Charlotte. He is adamant that she will not be able to drive a stagecoach again. In their mind, she was now only good enough to be a stock tender.

In summary, while Charlotte and James share a thirst for adventure and an entrepreneurial spirit, Charlotte has a more can-do attitude.

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