Notes on Johnny Tremain Themes

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Johnny Tremain Topic Tracking: Pride

Chapter 1

Pride 1: Johnny is a capable boy with the skills necessary to be a fine silversmith one day. Because his work is so valuable, Johnny is able to order the two other apprentices around. Although Mr. Lapham constantly reminds him to be humble about his God-given skills, Johnny cannot help but take pride in being the most indispensable worker in the Lapham family business.

Pride 2: Mr. Lapham is an old fashioned traditionalist who, in his old age, is deeply pious. He believes that rich political figures like John Hancock and Samuel Adams are being prideful by not succumbing to the absolute rule of the King of England. He feels that the colonists should humbly abide by British authority, which he relates to being humble before God.

Chapter 2

Pride 3: Johnny's pride is hurt because of the accident. Since he can no longer become a silversmith, he must find something else he can do. Dove and Dusty rub it in by mocking Johnny's situation.

Chapter 3

Pride 4: Johnny's pride is finally shattered when Isannah refuses to be touched by his crippled hand. After the incident, Johnny goes to his mother's grave where he cries and lets out his frustrations. He feels he finally reached bottom.

Chapter 6

Pride 5: The colonists are proud of a certain measure of independence they feel they have from England. They want to have a voice in the laws that are passed, especially concerning taxes. Even from the pulpit the cries of "taxation without representation" are heard. Sam Adams is the leading figure in opposing any British intervention in American affairs.

Chapter 7

Pride 6: The British response is to close the port of Boston until the tax is paid. This makes Bostonians, as well as all the other colonies, more determined to resist England's authority. Both sides are locked in a battle of wills.

Chapter 8

Pride 7: The Boston Observers are stirred by the speech that James Otis gives--they are fighting for the freedom of every individual, so that a man can stand up. The men assembled in the room vow to fight for the freedom of mankind. These men are well aware of their place in history; they understand the significance of what an American Revolution would come to mean.

Chapter 11

Pride 8: Johnny notices the irony of a war between America and England. It is essentially a civil war, for they are one people. Furthermore, the idea of the individual right to liberty was born on English soil. Yet, the two sides are in confrontation over the issue of power and authority. The British are confident in their well-trained troops. Although the Yankees are a ragtag band of semi-soldiers, they have a greater stake in victory. Even Yankee Doodle becomes a rallying cry.

Chapter 12

Pride 9: Johnny hears someone playing Yankee Doodle. He sees a ragged group of Yankee soldiers led by Granshire Silsbee. Johnny swells with pride. These are his people and his country--a country where a man can stand up.

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