The lives of New York slaves was worse than ever during the American Revolution. The Revolution was a successful but rough phase of America’s history. The Revolution began through British control so when the people wanted to become independent, war broke out. The life of Isabel in Chains represents the everyday life of a slave during this time period.
In the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, she focuses on two main characters and one main event. These are known as Isabel, Ruth, and the American Revolution. Chains highlights the lives of slaves in New York, the main war front, during the Revolutionary War. There are too many events in the war to simply find one as the main cause, but slavery is definitely one of them. Although the American Revolutionary conflict focused on the British and the Americans, slavery was a large portion of the war. Through the life of Isabel in the novel Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson, America is given insight on the lives of the black slaves in the North.
To be a slave in any time period was not ideal, but the slaves in the North during the Revolution had it worse than the others. Most rich families that lived in the upper Eastern area of America were British. Mr. Wakey, a high school history teacher stated, “Runaway slaves were invited to join British Army ([three thousand to four thousand] did)” (Wakey). Slaves were beaten and underfed so their masters could feel like they had all of the authority over them, that is why they ran away to join the army. Slaves of all ages were refused education so they were forced down to a lower level than their owners. Since the slaves had very rough lives, they took advantage of the one oppor...
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...to ignore the clear issue that was slavery. During the time period, slave owners pretended like they did not buy and sell people like objects. Chains is a helpful and insightful novel to help Americans better understand their history.
It has been known over the years that slavery was and still is a controversial issue in the United States. Laurie Halse Anderson, by writing Chains, is able to express the truth about slavery to American citizens. As Woodrow Wilson stated, “The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation” (Wilson). The Revolutionary War was a turning point for equality and independence in America. The United States would not be a whole and independent country if their people had not fought for their freedom many years ago. The representation provided by Anderson is extremely important to the history of America and it’s freedom as a whole.
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