Chains

by

Laurie Halse Anderson

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Jenny and her husband own a tavern in Newport, Rhode Island. When Mr. Robert shows up wanting to sell Isabel and Ruth on the tavern’s steps, Jenny refuses, insisting it’s not proper to sell people in that way. She’s kind, though her status as a working-class woman keeps her from being able to meaningfully help Isabel and Ruth. Jenny knows the girls and wants to help them because she was an indentured servant on the same farm where Momma was enslaved, and Momma was extremely kind to Jenny. So, although Jenny offers to buy Isabel and Ruth, she’s unable to afford them when the Locktons offer double.

Jenny Quotes in Chains

The Chains quotes below are all either spoken by Jenny or refer to Jenny. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Atheneum Books for Young Readers edition of Chains published in 2010.
Chapter 3 Quotes

“We don’t hold with slaves being auctioned on our front steps. Won’t stand for it, in fact.”

“I thought this was a business establishment,” Mr. Robert said. “Are you opposed to earning your percentage?”

“You want to listen to my Bill, mister,” Jenny said. “Advertise in the paper, that’s what we do around here.”

“I don’t have time for that. These are fine girls, they’ll go quickly. Give me half an hour’s time on your front steps, and we both walk away with heavier pockets.”

Jenny’s husband pulled out a rag and wiped his hands on it. “Auctions of people ain’t seemly. Why don’t you just talk quiet-like to folks? Or leave a notice tacked up, that’s proper.”

Related Characters: Mr. Robert Finch (speaker), Jenny (speaker), Isabel, Ruth
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Chains LitChart as a printable PDF.
Chains PDF

Jenny Character Timeline in Chains

The timeline below shows where the character Jenny appears in Chains. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The proprietor’s wife, whom a patron calls Jenny, looks familiar to Isabel. Jenny frowns as her husband refuses to let Mr. Robert auction... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
In the kitchen, Jenny serves Isabel and Ruth bowls of stew. She tells Isabel that it’s not worth it... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Mr. Robert names his price. Then, Jenny says that she’ll buy Isabel and Ruth. This is unheard of, but she offers to... (full context)