The book ‘Chains’ by Laurie Halse Anderson, is set in 1776 during the American revolution, the novel centres on Isabel, a teenage slave, the book shows how she experiencing the conflicts between the American revolution and those loyal to the white British crown and above all , black slavery. In this novel you understand how the slaves felt and were treated during this unfair time being sold to owners without having any say in it.
Isabel was a black American, she was born knowing her family was poor, she knew everyone in her family was destined to be slaves, her dad died fighting for freedom and her Mum died with sickness. As a result she and her sister Ruth were left all alone to be slaves for a kind Master. However after the death of the Master her and her sister was promised freedom according to the Will of their master. Instead the Masters decides to sell them to the highest bidder as soon as possible. The top bidders were” The Locktons” who treated both sisters as slaves and had no time for the American Revolution. They showed no compassion for the sisters and treated them like second class citizen. They severely punished them, made them live in servant room of their house and gave them no freedom of choice.
Slaves were not allowed to fight for freedom otherwise they would be severely punished or even sentenced to death. Having children for slaves were accepted. So Isabel begins to spy on her owners in hopes of gaining freedom for herself and her sister. She proves to me that she is very clever for her age. Both sisters were betrayed by many people throughout this novel however they could trust their new found friend, another slave named Curzon. He convinced and encouraged Isabel to spy on her owners so she can win her freedom. Her owners knew the details of British plans for invasion and Curzon’s owners were American patriots. Unfortunately this lead to more anger and suffering for Isobel, resulting in branding as well as a separation from her beloved sister.
In today’s society there are no connections with black slavery however there is still child labour and slavery occurring in some less developed Asian countries. After reading this book I realized how privileged we are in today’s society, especially with me being a different skin colour. I feel very strongly about child labour and I believe this should be banned and everyone should have a freedom of choice. Every child should be given food clothes shelter and education, not being forced to work for little money.
There are many things I would definitely challenge in the book, but the one thing that I found absolutely appalling was treating young children so badly just because of their skin colour. It is definitely not right to abuse, starve and mentally hurt children at such a young age. Families were torn apart. Children under the age of 16 usually weren’t qualified to do such back-breaking work. They definitely didn’t have a chance to enjoy life, they were forced to do things that they didn’t want to do, they didn’t have a say in what they wanted to do and what they