Student Question

Why did Pumpkin want to leave the British army in Johnny Tremain?

Quick answer:

Pumpkin displays a unique perspective when he explains that he wants to desert the British army because he desires freedom and a farm of his own. Pumpkin’s character is developed by revealing his views on freedom from the British.

Expert Answers

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In the book Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, Pumpkin illustrates a unique viewpoint during the time period before the Revolutionary War. In the story, Pumpkin is a British soldier who wants to leave the British army. Although Pumpkin’s character does not play a main role in the book, his motivations provide interesting insight.

When Pumpkin first explains that he does not want to be a British soldier anymore, a unique perspective is revealed. Pumpkin divulges that some of the British troops desire freedom from British rule. Pumpkin states:

“Boy, I like it here. I want to live here forever. A farm of my own. Cows. Poor folk can’t get things like that over in England.”

Consequently, Pumpkin illustrates that he desires freedom and farmland. As Pumpkin reveals, lower-class individuals in England could not acquire such items on their own (during this time period). However, in the colonies, people had the freedom and ability to achieve their own dreams through hard work and determination.

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