What are Lyddie's thoughts and feelings in chapters 3 through 6 in the young adult novel Lyddie?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lyddie begins these chapters thinking a lot about freedom.  You see, once Lyddie enters the tavern to begin work, she is no longer free.  Lyddie stands ouside, both dirty and barefoot (and mistaken for an urchin by many), when she meets a "kind, elegant lady" who gets out of a stagecoach and says she is a Lowell factory girl.  This sticks with Lyddie, and she begins thinking about the differences between herself and this factory girl.

Still, Lyddie does begin work at the tavern and thinks a lot about the money she is earning:  right now it is her only solace.  Lyddie discovers friendship in Triphena and misses her brother, Charlie, who occupies much of her thoughts now.  Lyddie even goes to visit Charlie, but is in a mental conundrum when she does so, ... Charlies has been sort of "adopted" by a new family and he is not available to Lyddie because he is at school. 

After trying to visit Charlie, Lyddie thinks about visiting her old homeplace.  There she meets a runaway slave named Edward Abernathy.  Her thoughts now make an unexpected turn.  Even though previously had been thinking about the money she could make turning in a runaway slave, Abernathy's crushing story moves Lyddie so much that she gives him all of her money.  Lyddie now has thoughts of compassion beyond that of herself and her brother. 

Even though it is not necessarily in the chapters you mention, the most important quotation by Lyddie herself in regards to thought and feeling is as follows:

My heart is heavy, she thought. It’s not just a saying. It is what is—heavy, a great stone lodged in my breast, pressing down my whole being. How can I even stand straight and look out upon the world? I am doubled over into myself and, for all the weight, find only emptiness.

Lyddie, then, is quite a strong young woman, able to lift herself back into the positive from these feelings of heaviness and emptiness.

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