Chains By Laurie Halse Anderson

A Project by Avery nagengast

Character Analysis

Isabel is a 13 year old slave girl living in the late 1700s. When their former owner dies, Isabel and Ruth are then sold to a wealthy couple living in New York. Isabel then meets Curzon Bellingham another slave who wishes to fight alongside his master and the patriots in the approaching Revolutionary War. Curzon makes Isabel an offer that may win her freedom. Isabel also meets Becky, a servant girl who also works for Isabel's new owners.


When Isabel's former owner Mary Finch dies. Isabel and Ruth are taken to a tavern where thay are held up for auction. They are then ,sold to the Loktons, and taken to New York.

Rising Action

Isabel and Ruth sail to New York with the Loktons. When they arrive they are greeted by a group of patriots, who suspect that Mr. Lokton is a Loyalist. The men search through all of the luggage except for one trunk, that Mrs. Lokton claims that it is her undergarments and refuses to get off of it. Isabel is told to fetch water from the local pump. A slave boy who is with the patriot's offers to go with her. On the way to the pump the boy talls her his name is Curzon and tells her that Mr. Lokton is a loyalist, and offers her a deal that might win her, her freedom. Isabel refuses. After a few months of working for the Loktons. Isabel overhears Mr. Lokton talking with some of his friend's about a plan to entice the patriots to join their side. They were hiding money in the chest that had Mrs. Loktons "Undergarments" in it. Isabel decides to take up on Curzons offer on giving the patriots information about the plan.

She gave the information to the Patriots who tell her a password, so that if she would ever need to give them any more information about Mr. Lokton she could use it. The password was Ad Astra. The next day Mr. Lokton was arrested, but was realeased a few days later. He went into hiding soon after.


After a few weeks of Mr. Lokton being gone. Isabel and Ruth continue working for Mrs. Lokton. Ruth had an illness, causing her to have random seizures. Mrs. Lokton was scared that a demon had taken place in Ruths soul and never allowed her to go near her. Mrs. Lokton decided that she was being to harsh on her servants and decided to give Isabel and Ruth some cookies and milk. Isabel and Ruth both fell asleep. Isabel awoke to find Becky crying. Isabel realized that Ruth was gone. Mrs. Lokton had put a sleeping medicine in the milk and sold Ruth while Isabel was sleeping.

Isabel starts hurling insults and questions toward Mrs. Lokton, when all of a sudden Becky opens the front door and yells at Isabel to run away. Isabel fails in an attempt to run away and is put on trial and gets an I branded on her cheek for her attempt.

Falling action

The war goes on and Mr. Lokton has returned. Isabel has continued her work for Mr. and Mrs. Lokton. A big battle happened in the city where Isabel lived. She manged to save Mr. Loktons Aunt and some belongings that had belonged to her. The battle was over and the Loyalists won. Curzon and many others were taken to prison as prisoners of war.

Isabel decides to take food scraps to Curzon and his fellow prisoners, pretending to be his sister called Sal. Months pass and it is winter. The brittish queen Anne's birthday approaches and the Loktons were invited to the ball being held in her honor. Isabel had been punished for visiting Curzon in the prison. Mrs. Lokton unintentionally revealed to Isabel that they still owned Ruth because of her illness, and was being kept at another one of their estates. Isabel escapes from the Loktons house and make it to the prison where Curzon was being kept. She escapes with an almost-dead Curzon who can barely stand on his own two feet.


Isabel and Curzon successfully escape the town and get down to the river.

They then, steal a rowboat and go off in search of Ruth.