Notes on Johnny Tremain Themes

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Johnny Tremain Topic Tracking: Friendship

Chapter 2

Friendship 1: Johnny's only friend at this time is Cilla. Although he is supposed to marry Cilla, after his accident, Mrs. Lapham changes her mind. Johnny does not have romantic feelings for Cilla, yet. He just wants to give Cilla nice things because she is always doing nice things for him.

Chapter 4

Friendship 2: Johnny meets Rab at the Boston Observer office and it is the beginning of a developing friendship. When Johnny heads to Merchant Lyte's mansion, Rab offers his good clothes. When Johnny is put in jail, he somehow trusts that Rab is the right person to notify. Rab and Cilla, Johnny's only two friends, help him get out of jail.

Chapter 5

Friendship 3: Although Johnny's new life as a rider is exciting, he realizes he still misses his old life, especially the familiarity and consistency of Cilla. He asks Cilla to meet him every Thursday and Sunday.

Chapter 6

Friendship 4: Johnny happens to see Cilla waiting at the pump where they were to meet every Thursday and Sunday. Johnny has not been keeping his promise. Johnny finds that he is no longer interested in the world of Cilla and the Laphams; his new life is so much more exciting. He despises Cilla for being so faithful to their friendship. He has changed.

Chapter 7

Friendship 5: Johnny is a bit jealous of Rab's developing friendship with Cilla. He is mostly annoyed because Rab is so secretive about what he does with her.

Chapter 8

Friendship 6: Johnny discovers Rab has been buying sweets for Cilla--even courting her in a casual way. But as he talks with Cilla, Johnny realizes that she is interested in him and he in her. She gives him a green apple, which Johnny identifies as a symbol of their developing friendship--either it will become ripe or rot. Ironically, Rab eats it and says it was wormy, which makes Johnny mad.

Chapter 9

Friendship 7: Dove tries to be friendly with Rab and Johnny, but they only use him to get information. They let him hang out because they also feel sorry for him. Dove is not liked by both the British and Americans. Johnny, on the other hand, feels a connection to the British soldier, Lieutenant Stranger. Lieutenant Stranger even takes Johnny to jump horses. Johnny thinks some of the British soldiers are actually more likable than someone like Dove.

Chapter 10

Friendship 8: Johnny is upset that Rab can be so casual about leaving him to go join the Minute Men in Lexington. Although Johnny wants to run after Rab to say goodbye, he does not want to reveal his true emotions.

Chapter 12

Friendship 9: When Rab dies, Johnny has neither the time nor the energy to mourn for him. Johnny must be strong and take up arms to continue the fight Rab started. That is what Rab would have wanted him to do.

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