In Johnny Tremain, ch. 8, what does Johnny mean when he says "This is the end. the end of one thing- the beginning of something else"?

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Things were changing with the rebels attitudes and the fighting.  The rebels were threatening the Tories or King's Loyalists. According to their maid, Bessie, they had threatened to tar and feather Mr. Lyte and run Miss Lyte out of town on a rail.  The Lytes decided to go to their country home in Milton.  From there, they will be chased behind British lines in Boston, and eventually, they will book passage back to England.

Cilla had not had time to pack the Lyte's silver and felt bad about it.  They had to leave the house in a hurry.  Johnny borrows the doctor's rig and takes her back to help her pack up the silver.  While he is at the Lyte house, he cuts out the pages in the family Bible that relate to his heritage.  However, before he leaves, he realizes that the silver cup Mr. Lyte stole from him and those Bible pages do not mean anything anymore. There was nothing in that old house for him except some old ghosts.  Times had changed.

Cilla had shuttered all the windows and seemed content with the fact that

"Now it will be in good order when the Lytes come back." (pg 175)

That is when Johnny said the Lytes would not be coming back because,

"This is the end.  The end of one thing --- the beginning of something else. They won't come back because there is going to be a war ---- civil war.  And we'lll win." (pg 175)   

On the way back into town they see the farmers and Minute Men out marching and drilling before they did their morning chores.  Johnny knows that they will be challenged because the British military is well trained and very prepared.

The end of chapter 8 takes you into the fall of that year.  Sam Adams calls a meeting of the Observers.  Sam Adam says,

"For ten years we've tried this and we've tried that.  We've tried to placate them and they to placate us.  Gentlemen, you know it has not worked.  I will not work for peace....... I will work for but one thing.  War --- bloody and terrible death and destruction.  but out of it shall come such a country as was never seen on this earth before.  We will fight....."  (pg 188)

So, it was the end of the old way of life, and a beginning of a new country and a new way of life.

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Johnny Tremain

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