In Lyddie, what are the hours and days of the week Lyddie works in Cutler's Tavern?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lyddie works almost constantly at Cutler’s Tavern.

After Lyddie’s mother leaves, she sets Lyddie up to work at a local tavern to pay off family debts. Lyddie is horrified by this thought. She is independent and does not like being beholden to anyone. The thought of being indentured is almost...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Lyddie works almost constantly at Cutler’s Tavern.

After Lyddie’s mother leaves, she sets Lyddie up to work at a local tavern to pay off family debts. Lyddie is horrified by this thought. She is independent and does not like being beholden to anyone. The thought of being indentured is almost unbearable.

Lyddie is a hard worker nonetheless. She is given no time off at the tavern, because she is forced to sleep in a tiny windowless alcove and she needs to be in it and leave it before guests notice. This means starting work early in the morning and ending late at night. When Lyddie is given the job of tending the fire, she ends up sleeping next to it for fear that it might go out without her noticing.

Other than the sleeping conditions, Lyddie’s long hours are partially her own choosing.

Mistress Cutler watched Lyddie like a barn cat on a sparrow, but Lyddie was determined not to give her cause for complaint. She had worked hard since she could remember. But now she worked even harder, for who was there to share a moment's leisure with? (Ch. 3)

Lyddie gets no vacations. She is never able to leave the tavern. When Mrs. Cutler leaves, Triphena tells Lyddie that she can go wherever she wants. Lyddie desperately wants to go home to visit her brother, who is working at a nearby mill. Yet when she gets back, Mrs. Cutler fires her for being away from her work without permission.

"So! You've decided to honor us with a visit!" The mistress's face was red with heat or rage. Behind her, Triphena grimaced an apology.

She stood in the doorway, trying to frame an excuse or apology, but as usual the words did not come quickly enough to mind.

"You're dismissed!" the woman said. (Ch. 6)

Lyddie is relieved to be fired. She feels like Mrs. Cutler has set her free. Now she can do what she wants, not what her mother wants. Lyddie immediately heads to the factory, where she can make more money and will not be constantly under someone’s control. She will pay back the family debt, but on her own terms.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team