What are some characteristics of Isabel?

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Young Isabel experiences a great deal of trauma in her life, but with each difficulty, she comes through even stronger than before. This demonstrates a trait called resilience. The influence of even one or two kind and helpful adults along the way as each challenge unfolds helps Isabel to gather her own inner forces and not lose faith in her ability to prevail.

Think about what Isabel goes through in her life and how she ultimately decides to handle each new challenge. This will make it very clear to you which characteristics define her. Though Isabel's life is fraught with the cruelties, dangers, and injustices of enslavement, her deceased mother's love helps her develop a strong inner core early on.

You may want to make a simple chart for yourself in order to better answer this question in your own words and with your own valuable insights. Take a piece of lined paper and draw a line down the middle. At the top of the left side, write, "Challenge." At the top of the right side, write, "How She Handles It."

For example, a situation that comes up early in the novel is the broken promise that Isabel and her sister will be freed. When this does not happen, does Isabel give up and just accept things the way they are? No, she does not. This challenge brings out her traits of determination and persistence.

Her little sister's illness poses a number of special challenges for Isabel. Does she look out only for herself and ignore her sister's vulnerability, or does Isabel show deep loyalty and devotion by doing all she can to protect her?

What would you call the kinds of traits Isabel demonstrates when she takes on the very risky challenge of bringing food to her friend in jail? Is she the kind of person whom you would personally want to have as a friend?

What is probably most difficult to think about is the brutal challenge of Isabel having her face branded. How does Isabel ultimately deal with this terrible event? Does she let it bring her down forever or does she rise above it? Again, it is important to remember that the individuals who happen to be there for her during the most difficult times, although often minor characters, help Isabel to get in touch with her inner strength and to keep going.

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One of the first things we learn about Isabel is that she has been deeply struck by grief in the aftermath of her mother's death. She feels things deeply and is still in a state of mourning.

In chapter two, we learn that Isabel is a courageous girl who has the gumption to politely inform Pastor Weeks that according to Miss Finch's will, she and Ruth are free.

Isabel is very spiritual and has some strange beliefs: she is upset by the idea that when they travel over water to leave Rhode Island, her mother's ghost will not be able to follow them.

She is intensely loyal, which is shown by her willingness to take responsibility for Ruth's untimely laughter when officials wished to search Madam Lockton's luggage. For her loyalty, she receives a painful slap from Madam Lockton, but she is not deterred by this.

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Two main traits define Isabel's character: her loyalty and her courage.

She is fiercely loyal to her sister, Ruth. An example of this is when Ruth, in her innocence, laughs at "the Madam," and Isabel takes a slap for her, thinking, "Better me than Ruth." As another Educator has mentioned, she also saves Lady Seymour when a fire starts in her house (out of gratitude for Lady Seymour's earlier kindness toward her).

Isabel is also courageous. Going back and forth between the Patriots and the Loyalists is a dangerous task, but she does so. Not only that, she later cements her decision to fight for herself, thinking, "If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?"

By the end of the book, Isabel has discovered that she possesses an inner strength that no inhumane system can quell. She even views the scar from her branding as the mark of a "survivor".

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Isabel is sweet. She's a hard worker. She has an evil, female task master. She dreams of being free some day. She sounds a lot like Cinderella, doesn't she?

In addition to the above traits, Isabel is tough. Madam Lockton is flat out mean to her. And I'm not talking about just having a lot of chores to do (although Madam Lockton does give Isabel a big workload). No, I'm specifically thinking about the time that Madam Lockton had Isabel branded. That's something that people do to animals. The incident doesn't break Isabel though. If anything, it strengthens her resolve.

That brings up two more characteristics. Isabel is brave and determined. Most of the story is about her trying to save herself and her sister Ruth. Isabel is willing to do just about anything in order to gain her freedom. That includes spying for Patriots, which would mean death if caught.

Isabel is also incredibly loyal to her sister Ruth. But Isabel's loyalty doesn't end with family. She absolutely feels the need to pay back any debts of gratitude with a similar act of kindness. An example of that would be when Isabel risks her own life to save Lady Seymour from her burning house, because earlier Lady Seymour displayed kindness to Isabel.

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