Laurie Halse Anderson

Character Analysis

The Main Character in the book, Chains is Isabelle. One word to describe Isabelle would be the word, strong. She faced many trials and the times she had to endure abuse, tortured, disrespect are uncountable. Isabelle has a sister who she also tries to protect and she puts her own fear and worry aside so she can help protect her sister. She is also very hard working even though she may not desire to do the work she is told to do, she does it to protect the lives of both Ruth, her sister, and herself. As the revolutionary war began she wages her own fight for freedom! Another character who is important in this story is Madam Lockton. Madam Lockton is a veracious, mistreating person and has no respect for Isabelle and her sister, nor her husband. Another important character of this story is Ruth. Ruth is simply Isabelle's sister she a very hard working just as Isabelle is and is very loving toward Isabelle as well. The last character that I will be analyzing is Curzon. Curzon is a very helpful character for Isabelle. He encourages her to do the things that could start badly and end with saving thousands of lives including their own and this makes him one of the most important characters in this book because he is the key to her freedom. Curzon helps Isabelle along her ride with the Locktons and works well on the task at hand!


1776. Isabelle is an orphan sister who has a little sister named Ruth. They live in Rhode Island in a small town home.Isabelle's father and mother have both died. Her caring owner Miss Mary Finch the one who has educated Isabelle had also died. In her will she set Isabelle and her sister free. Their Lawyer, next in line to care for the girls, became frightened of the American Revolution and left the girls all alone.After the funeral Miss's Mary Finches nephew took them to a tavern and put the two girls up for auction. Later, the Locktons agree to buy the girls and take them to Brooklyn, New York.

Rising action

  • When Madam Lockton takes Isabelle to church and bombs were dropped during the church service.
  • Isabelle went to fetch water for Madam Lockton and met Curzon.
  • Isabelle and her get split up because Madam Lockton sold Ruth after her seizure in their house.
  • Isabel then ran away in search of Ruth.
  • When she got caught, to punish her, men were waiting for her to wake threatening her life and took her to be branded on the cheek for her punishment,"the man in the dusty coat pulled one block of iron out of the fire, he brought it close to his face and spit on it, the man pushed the hot metal against my cheek". She had had many attempts to escape by running away but all of her attempts failed accept one.
  • Another step to the rising action is when Lady Seymour was ill and Isabelle was ordered to take care of her and during their sleep the whole town caught fire.
  • Isabelle knew that the Locktons had a plan for the British invasion and she reported it to Colonel Reagan.
  • Master Lockton got arrested because of the knowledge of British invasion details.
  • Curzon was taken away to a cellar.
  • Isabelle then rescued Curzon from the cellar and began to plan their escape.


The Climax of this story is when Isabelle decides to escape with Curzon from the Locktons grasp and away from the city they both were held captive in. Freedom awaited and they had to get away from being a slave, being tortured, being mistreated. They were hoping no one would come after them and even thought people tried to find them, they found freedom because they people looking gave up. Isabelle and Curzon were weak and hurt facing torturous agony through their slavery but traveled very far away from the horror that grew in that town. This is the moment where I know that Isabelle and Curzon have won their fight for freedom and no one could stop them from their escape.

falling action

  • The falling action of this story is after Isabelle and Curzon are running and they come across a lake that leads to an ocean and they realize that they have no way of transportation to get them across and away from New York where the Locktons will be looking for them.
  • They soon fiound a boat and start sailing in the water until they reach land.


The resolution of this story is when Isabelle and Curzon arrived on land In New Jersey. After days of being on the boat with no food or water they are freezing cold. They have cuts, scars and wounds from owner torture but their hearts are strong! Once they dismount the boat they lay on the ice cold snow under a tree when they suddenly hear voices around them and they soon find out that the voices around them are hunters...............But at least they are not the Locktons!.....


As the Revolutionary war begins thirteen-year-old Isabelle wages her own fight for freedom. Promised upon the death of her owner, she and her sister Ruth are caught in a cruel twist of fate upon both of their lives. They become property of a selfish couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for her and Ruth. When Isabel meets Curzon, slave property to the Patriots, he tells her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabelle realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.