Student Question

In chapter 7 of Lyddie, what are Lyddie's thoughts about the other stage coach passengers?

Expert Answers

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Lyddie thinks the other passengers are judgmental and ignorant.

When Lyddie is fired from her job at Cutler’s Tavern, she decides to take a job at the factory.  She tries walking but can’t make it.  She finally takes a temporary job at a local inn to get money for a stagecoach ride to the factory.  In the first stagecoach, her fellow passengers are a married couple.  Lyddie feels that the woman is critical of her and considers the couple “disagreeable.”

The woman gave Lyddie's dress and shawl and strange boots a critical going over with her eyes, then settled again toher knitting, which the bumping of the coach made difficult. (Ch. 7)

Lyddie has almost nothing.  She has homespun dresses and boots that don’t fit, and the money she borrowed from Triphena.  She still does not appreciate them staring.

In the next stagecoach leg, the coach is crowded with six passengers.  Lyddie does not like these passengers either, especially the one who lights a cigar.  She also begins to get frustrated with the way everyone looks at her.

And still, when the others weren't concentrating on keeping their seatsin the swaying coach, they were looking at her‐at her clothes especially. At first she was mortified, but the longer they rode, the angrier she became. How rude they were, these so‐called gentry. (Ch. 7)

Lyddie considers the stagecoach passengers ignorant and arrogant.  When the coach gets stuck, she is the only one who is able to do anything about it.  She just wants to get moving.  None of the other passengers are grateful or even thank her.  The coachman laughs, and Lyddie tells him the passengers are “silly fools.”

The trip to Lowell is difficult and eventful for Lyddie.  She does not appreciate the way the wealthy people treat her, and she feels judged.  Lyddie also demonstrates her ingenuity and stubbornness in how she deals with the coach getting stuck.  These traits will help Lyddie as she moves into factory life.

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