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Questions on the Characters and Events in Various Chapters of "Lyddie"

Summary:

In Chapter 1 of Lyddie, Lyddie receives a letter from her mother stating that she and her brother are being hired out to pay off debts. They set off with their livestock, and Farmer Stevens offers $25 for a calf. Luke Stevens helps them reach their destinations. In Chapter 4, Triphena, the cook, warms to Lyddie, and characters discuss slavery, revealing Lyddie's hope to pay off debts with a reward for returning a runaway slave.

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What occurs in Chapter 2 of Lyddie?

Near the end of Chapter 1, Lyddie receives this letter from her mother:

Dear Lyddie,

The world hav not come to the end yit. But we can stil hop. Meentime I hav hire you out to M. Cutler at the tavern and fer yr. brother to Bakers mill. The paschur, feelds and sugar bush is lent to M. Wescott to repay dets.  Also cow and horse. Lv. at wuns you git this.

Yr. loving mother,
Mattie M. Worthen

Lydie cries and it feels as though briars stick in her heart. but she tells Charlie that she feels that they have claim to a calf born of her mother's cow, and they should be able to keep the money from its sale. The next day they set out, after blocking the door so that no more bears enter. As they walk along the road, Lyddie assures Charlie that they will return home one day.

They walk up the road with Charlie astride the plow horse and Lyddie pulling the cow that are to be handed over for debts, with the calf following. Outside, Farmer Stevens see them and calls out, "I see my bull served thee well." Lyddie knows that it is wrong to expect Quaker Stevens to pay for what is partly his, but he kindly offers twenty-five dollars for the calf.

Luke Stevens, whom Lyddie remembers from her school days, takes them to their destinations. On the way, Luke promises to check on their house and remove the snow from their roof if it threatens danger. Charlie has been lent out to the mill, and Lyddie is dropped off at Cutler's Tavern.

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Who are the characters introduced in chapter 4 of Lyddie?

Some characters from Chapter 4 ("Frog in a Butter Churn") of Lyddie are:

Triphena: In this chapter, Triphena (the cook) begins to warm to Lyddie. The author describes Triphena as a spinster who is past her middle years. In chapter 4, Triphena shares a story about two frogs that fell into a pail of milk. One frog dies almost immediately. Meanwhile, the other frog kicks energetically in its bid to escape. Triphena tells Lyddie that the second frog is found dead in the morning, floating on a pat of butter. Triphena likens the frog to those who manage to make the best of a difficult situation.

Charlie: Charlie visits Lyddie in chapter 4. Lyddie is concerned when she sees Charlie, however. He appears to be thinner and smaller than ever. For his part, Charlie admits that he works hard, but the food is plentiful and tasty at the miller's.

Otis and Enoch: Otis and Enoch are the two hired men who work for the Cutlers. In chapter 4, the men discuss slavery. The subject is about a slave who was caught near Ferrisburg. Enoch maintains that a slave owner has the right to pursue an escaped slave. Meanwhile, Otis proclaims his right to a reward, if he returns a slave. The conversation is ugly, and Triphena is disgusted by the men's comments. However, Lyddie is struck by the reward for returning a runaway slave: one hundred dollars. She imagines that such a handsome reward would make it possible for her to pay off her father's debts and return home.

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Who are the characters introduced in chapter 4 of Lyddie?

Chapter four has Lyddie working hard at Cutler's tavern.  The reader is introduced to more of her workload and other employees of the tavern.  

One such character is Triphena.  She is the tavern's cook, and she begins to take Lyddie under her protection, because she is impressed with Lyddie's work ethic.  She tells Lyddie a story about a frog that fell into some milk. 

Another tavern worker is Willie.  He seems to be a jack of all trades.  He takes care of the fires, the wagons, and various other jobs.  

There are two other hired men.  They are Otis and Enoch, but not a lot of info is given about them.  Lyddie does learn about slaves and reward money from them though. 

Lyddie's brother, Charlie, shows up for a portion of the chapter.  

Mrs. Cutler is obviously around, but she does not make an appearance in the chapter. 

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What events occur in Chapter 5 of Lyddie?

Lyddie has been working hard at Cutler's tavern, and I mean really hard.  Mrs. Cutler is a serious task master, and Lyddie can barely catch a moment to herself.  Fortunately, Lyddie is a hard worker, and that earns her the respect and friendship of Triphena.  That's helpful to Lyddie in Chapter Five, because in this chapter Mrs. Cutler decided to go to Boston to sell the maple sugar and visit some family.  Because of the reduced workload (Mrs. Cutler isn't there anymore), Triphena encourages Lyddie to go visit her family as well.  

Lyddie first goes to see Charlie at the mill, but she is surprised that she can't find him there.  The reason is that Charlie is still in school, which upsets Lyddie.  She's being worked to the ground, and Charlie's family is allowing him to go to school. Lyddie is disgusted at the situation and slightly worried that Charlie will forget his real family.  

The next place that Lyddie decides to visit is their former farm.  To her surprise she finds a runaway slave in the house.  This is a new experience for Lyddie for two reasons.  One, she has never seen a runaway slave before and thoughts of the reward money do creep into her head.  Two, Lyddie has never seen a black man before.  

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What events occur in Chapter 5 of Lyddie?

I see that I answered this back in 2009, but I can expand upon it further after reading the chapter yet again. Lyddie is longing to visit home again to check on her brother, Charlie, after being sent to work at Cutler’s Tavern under the watchful eye of Mistress Cutler. One day, Mistress Cutler decides to go into Boston in order to sell her recent batch of maple sugar, and Triphena suggests that Lyddie take advantage of the situation.

Sure enough, Lyddie leaves the tavern and tries to visit Charlie at Baker’s Mill. When Lyddie arrives, she finds out that Charlie is at school instead of at the mill. Lyddie is disgusted by Charlie’s “new family” and feels that he might forget his real one. With these thoughts in mind, Lyddie heads back to her family’s old farm. A surprise awaits her when she peeks in through the window: a “shadowy form” sitting quietly at the fireplace, a “shadowy form” that is not her mother. Lyddie is finally face to face with a black man, the first black man that she has ever seen in her life.

(Keep in mind that right before she left, in chapter 4, Lyddie talks with her friends at the tavern about the large sums given to those who turn in runaway slaves.) We won’t find out until Chapter 6 that this particular runway slave’s name is Ezekial Abernathy.

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What events occur in Chapter 5 of Lyddie?

Lyddie, of course, has been sent to Cutler’s Tavern and Charlie has been sent to Baker’s Mill.  Lyddie takes advantage of Mistress Cutler’s absence (as she has gone to Massachusetts to sell some maple sugar) to take a “vacation” in order to see her family.  When Lyddie stops at Baker’s Mill to find Charlie, she finds out that Charlie is not there because he is still in school.  Lyddie is disturbed by this and begins to hate the family that has been taking care of Charlie.  Lyddie finally arrives at the farm and is surprised to find a black man staying there.

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Who are the characters in chapter 6 of Lyddie?

The characters are Lyddie, Ezekial, Mrs. Cutler, and Triphena.

Lyddie is the main character in the book.  Lydia Worthen is a young woman who works at a pub called Cutler’s Tavern to pay off debts incurred by her family farm.

When visiting her family farm on a break from the tavern, Lyddie sees a runaway slave named Ezekial.  At first she is afraid of him because he is a strange man in her house.  He is the one who thinks that Lyddie is breaking in.  When he learns who she is, he explains that her neighbor Stevens is allowing him to stay there.  He tells her that he thinks she will be understanding.

"I hope he was not mistaken."  He smiled apologetically. "Here, do come down from there and share a cup of tea with me. You've had a long journey, I'd imagine, and a rude shock, finding your home occupied by a stranger." (Ch. 6)

Ezekial, the fugitive slave, is self-taught and likes to quote the Bible.  He is very kind to Lyddie.  She is so impressed by him that she lends him the money that she had from selling the calf.  It is all the money she has.

Lyddie and Ezekial have an interesting conversation where Lyddie compares her situation to his.

"I couldn't leave my home," she said.

"No? And yet you did."

"I had no choice," she said hotly. "I was made to."

"So many slaves," he said softly.

"I ain't a slave," she said. "I just‐I just‐‐" (Ch. 6)

This is a manta that continues to go through Lyddie’s head as she works at the factory later.  She does not want to think of herself as a slave, even though she often has little control over how much work she has to do.

When Lyddie returns to the tavern, the cruel and strict tavern owner Mistress Cutler immediately dismisses her for being away from her post.  Lyddie feels this is unfair, because she did not know that she couldn’t leave while the boss was away. 

Triphena, the cook and Lyddie’s friend, comments that Lyddie is the best she has ever had.  Lyddie tells Triphena that she is going to go be a factory worker.  Triphena lends Lyddie some money since she gave away all of hers.

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Who are the characters in chapter 8 of Lyddie?

Chapter 8 is a significant one in Lyddie because it's here that the protagonist starts work at the Concord Corporation factory. An important character in this chapter is Diana Goss, who shows Lyddie the ropes in her new job. She also helps Lyddie write letters home to her family. However, Lyddie soon discovers that Diana is widely distrusted by the other workers at the factory. They see her as a trouble-maker, an agitator, someone whose tireless efforts to improve wages and conditions at the factory are counter-productive. To some of the other girls, Diana is a dangerous radical.

Nevertheless, Lyddie comes to develop a close friendship with Diana. Though initially skeptical of agitating for better pay and conditions, she eventually signs Diana's petition, but mainly to try and get her friend out of trouble.

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Who are the characters in chapter 8 of Lyddie?

The reader gets introduced to quite a few new characters in this chapter. Obviously, one of the characters in this chapter is Lyddie. Much of this chapter takes place in the boarding house that Mr. Bedlow took Lyddie to. He took her to this particular boarding house because Mrs. Bedlow (his sister) operates it. Lyddie spends the first night in the attic, and the next morning she meets some of the other girls that live in the boarding house and work in the mills. Lyddie meets Prudence, Amelia, and Betsy. Of those girls, Betsy, is probably the most important to Lyddie because Betsy helps Lyddie learn to value reading and education. Lyddie begins to read Oliver Twist on her own because of Betsy. The chapter ends with Mrs. Bedlow taking Lyddie to the mills for the first time. 

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