In Esther Forbes' novel Johnny Tremain, what does Johnny expect will happen when he talks to Mr. Lyte for the first time?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By the end of part 5 in Chapter III, Johnny has still been unsuccessful at finding a new skilled trade due to his crippled hand. While crying on his mother's grave, he remembers his mother's words who told him that "if there was nothing left and God Himself had turned away his face, then, and only then, Johnny was to go to Mr. Lyte" (p. 73). He decides he is so desperate for work and comfort, with absolutely no prospects left and no one else to turn to, that now was the time to go and see Mr. Lyte. By morning in Chapter IV, Johnny begins to fantasize about what it will be like to meet Mr. Lyte. He doesn't imagine there will be any difficulty at all. Instead, he happily ponders to himself what he might be calling the wealthy Mr. Lyte by the next day: "'Uncle Jonathan?' 'Cousin Lyte?' Perhaps 'Grandpa'" (p. 74). He even imagines to himself that his current mistress Mrs. Lapham will soon be curtsying to him and that he'd be able to take Cilla for a drive in Mr. Lyte's ruby coach. However, his meeting with Mr. Lyte of course does not go according to his fantasies. Mr. Lyte thinks Johnny is lying about their family ties. When Johnny brings Mr. Lyte the the silver cup with the Lyte seal, Lyte accuses Johnny of stealing it and has Johnny arrested.