What is the one item Isabel secretly takes before leaving the Finch Farm?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Isabel recognizes clearly the condition in which she lives.  She is to be moved from one setting of enslavement to another.  Her own life and personal experience is moot in the face of the institution of slavery, something that considers her an object that can be easily moved from place to place.  She is forbidden to bring anything with her.  She wishes to do so, if nothing else to validate her own past and her own memories.  While she is under strict instruction to not take anything, she acts in defiance and takes some flower seeds from the Finch farm that used to belong to her mother. The idea would be that she could take these seeds and then plant them so that something would grow. From a symbolic point of view, Isabel's taking of seeds enables some connection to her past to be evident.  The growth of a plant is also significant given Anderson's development of this idea in another novel, Speak.  In this setting, the main character also seeks to establish her own voice in a world that silences her and come to this process through the planting of seeds, in the belief that her own voice can reemerge into power.  Isabel's own condition is similar to this when she takes the seeds from the Finch farm.

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