When seeking to identify the theme of a literary work, ask yourself what the protagonist learned through the action of the story and how the protagonist changed. The theme is the central insight of a work and the idea the author wants to convey about life or human nature.
Lyddie is a story about a girl growing up in the early 1800s. Both her parents essentially abandon her, and she must make her own way in the world. She leaves the miserable life of working at the tavern to work in a textile factory. Through courage, hard work, and persistence, she is able to earn and save money, but she is disappointed in her goal of reuniting her family on her family's farmland. Although she works so hard that she finds her sister and her friends to be a burden and distraction, she learns through sickness and abuse that emotional connection with other people is what makes the hard work worthwhile.
At the end of the novel, Katherine Paterson uses Lyddie's internal thoughts and her conversation with Luke to...
(The entire section contains 3 answers and 928 words.)