The Metamorphosis of Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain is like a butterfly; he went through a transformation. Johnny Tremain is a book by Esther Forbes about a crippled boy during the American Revolution and the events he endures. Johnny Tremain was a very dynamic character because people and events affected him.
People change main characters in many books. Johnny Tremain is no exception.
In Johnny’s case it was the Lyte and the Lapham families. Both the Lapham family and the Lyte family probably did not mean to change Johnny, but they did. Johnny was orphaned after his mother died but was able to stay in the Lapham’s house and to be an apprentice to Mr. Lapham, an elderly silver smith who educated Johnny in this art. He was always Mr. Lapham’s favorite because Johnny was the finest apprentice out of the three that were there until Dove, one of the apprentices, passed Johnny a cracked crucible.
Johnny’s thumb then got grown into his palm when he healed. After the injury, Mr. Lapham and the whole family found Johnny useless and queer (because of his thumb). ” `Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me with that dreadful hand!’ Issanah squealed.” After then Johnny grasped the fact that he went from the top to the bottom in a matter of days. It taught him that nothing is forever.
Furthermore, Mrs. Lapham a widowed mother of four, was probably the cruelest Lapham of all, after he got crippled. She told him that he was only good for picking rags. She also virtually shooed Johnny out of the house. This made Johnny go find a better life outside of the Lapham’s shop. It also taught him to be independent.
There is usually more than one family that changes a dynamic character like Johnny. The Lyte family also helped Johnny in his transformation. The Lyte’s are Johnny’s rich relatives that claim they are not related to Johnny. Johnny has a silver cup to prove his relation, but the Lytes still deny any relation to Johnny and claim that he stole the cup from them. When Johnny was first looking for a job, he thought he could go to the Lytes and ask for some money. Johnny thought it was his last resort and became dependent on the fact that he is related to the richest merchant in Boston.
They disregarded Johnny and even took him to court. Johnny slowly weaned himself off the fact that they were his relatives and became more independent. They also affected Johnny in the very end of the book. The Lytes decide to move back to London because of all the ruckus going on in Boston. Lavinia Lyte (Johnny’s second cousin) finally admits to him that he is a relative of the Lytes. He gets to take care of the Lytes estate and he could inherit some money.
As one can see the people played a big part in making Johnny a dynamic character.
Another key element in his “metamorphosis” is the events that take place throughout the book. After he burnt his hand Johnny got kicked out of the Lapham’s house. At first glance, the accident looked like it was going to ruin his life but it in fact, made it better. The incident made him get a job with the Lornes, it involved him in the Revolutionary War, and he met good friends (just to name a few). Although his injury to his hand greatly affected Johnny’s life other events also helped Johnny through with his transformation.
Distributing newspapers for the Lornes was a big event that changed his life. He was put in charge of delivering newspapers and messages by horseback for the Lorne family, a family who runs the Boston Observer, a newspaper. Before he started delivering he had to learn how to ride a horse. When Johnny learned how to ride a horse it made a big difference. First of all, he got to travel along the countryside it made him feel free and independent. Additionally, ridding a horse made him feel good.
He could do tasks even though he was a cripple. He finally had a job that .