What is the thesis in Chains by Laurie Anderson?

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lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not sure if the term "thesis" is the most accurate, since Chains is a work of historical fiction,but Laurie Anderson gives the reader plenty to think about in this narrative, including, but not limited to the plight of slaves in colonial America.  Many, if not most, students' knowledge of the American Revolution comes from romanticized views of Paul Revere and friends taking down the evil British in their quest to create a newer, freer nation.  Real life, both now and then, is more complicated than that, and Anderson explores the idea that slaves in colonial America, even in the northernmost colonies, were often expected to choose sides, knowing full well that whatever choice they made was unlikely to lead to a life of freedom.  As she did with Fever 1793, Anderson has done it again, creating characters the reader cares about as she weaves a tapestry of social, cultural and political history that is captivating to even the reluctant reader.