Here is the answer and explanation to the question How does the author characterize Jenny in Chains?
How does the author characterize Jenny in Chains?
The author characterizes Jenny in Chains through a mixture of direct and indirect characterization. Readers learn that she is a big woman with freckles and that she has a strong sense of honor.
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Jenny is a minor character in Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Chains. She only appears in chapter 3; however, she does play an important part in the novel. She attempts to save Isabel and Ruth from the Locktons, and her actions serve to show readers how powerful the Locktons are, how weak common workers like Jenny are, and how much Isabel and Ruth are considered property to be bought and sold.
When readers are first introduced to Jenny, Anderson uses direct characterization to tell us about Jenny. Direct characterization occurs when the author/narrator provides explicit details about a character. Readers don’t have to infer anything. In chapter 3, we are told that Jenny is a big woman with milky skin and freckles. From this point forward, readers have to infer details about Jenny’s character. This is indirect characterization, and readers understand what a character is like by watching their actions and listening to their words.
As the chapter continues, readers will come to see that Jenny is a caring woman who wants to do right for the people who did right by her. She is a woman of honor. Jenny knew Isabel’s mother, Dinah, and Dinah took care of Jenny years before. Jenny feels indebted, and that is why she eventually tries to stand up to Madam Lockton. Jenny offers to buy Isabel and Ruth in order to keep them away from the Locktons. This also shows that Jenny is brave because we are told that she is not following social norms by doing this.
A person like Jenny did not speak to folks like the Locktons or Mr. Robert, not in that manner.
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