What is the message about freedom conveyed throughout the entire book?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Freedom is shown to be something that must be pursued actively and for which a fight is needed.  Like the Colonists in the story, freedom is not easy.  Freedom is something that is elusive for an easy grasp.  Rather, it must be actively fought.  The message about freedom that is conveyed is that freedom is not easy.  It is not something that one just "gets."  Isabel struggles on both emotional and physical levels.  She endures intense trials to find the freedom that she believes is a part of her destiny.  Freedom is not something to be pursued by the faint of heart.  The Colonists struggle through harsh physical and emotional realities and Isabel does, as well.

The end message that one gets regarding freedom is that individuals must make a firm commitment to achieving it.  At the same time, the message about freedom is that it tests individuals' character and their resolve.  As Thomas Paine would write, "These are the times that try men's souls."  Freedom is shown to do that in the novel.  Isabel must find it within her to pursue freedom, even if she does not know if she will receive it.  She takes huge risks, and is left without certainty in consequences.  Yet, the message here about freedom is that it is worth pursuing at all costs.  This is what reaffirmed on both a personal and political level in the narratives of Isabel and the Colonists.

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