Sunday, March 9, 2008

Johnny Tremain

I was familiar with the story, a tale from the American Revolution. A boy, a silversmith apprentice, burns his hand in an accident that occurs while working on a Sunday (illegally) in haste. The boy, Johnny Tremain, is left unable to wrok as a silversmith apprentice. He is filled with despair. He is befriended by a kind boy, Rab, and together they are able to earn money by caring for horses. The job allows the boys to come into contact with British soldiers and to obtain secret information the boys can then pass on to the revolutionaries.

I wasn’t as satisfied with the story as I’d thought I’d be. The characters, especially those who were actual people from history, felt flat, one-dimensional. Johnny seemed too prideful, too selfish, too judgmental for a reader to love, to serve as a main character. The words and actions of the characters seemed false, overly heroic, like the words and actions our mighty American forefathers should have used and should have done.

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