Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Family

In Johnny Tremain, our pal Johnny is an orphan whose father died before he was born and whose mother died when he was eleven, so he's making up his family as he goes along. At the outset, he seems...

Friendship

This makes us want to sing "You've Got a Friend in Me" like we're Buzz Lightyear and Woody the Cowboy. Don't worry, we won't. Friendship isn't one of the more in-your-face themes in Johnny Tremain,...

Patriotism

We've got to give Forbes props: for a book written in the middle of World War II's patriotic fervor, the patriotism in Johnny Tremain is refreshingly nuanced. Johnny's feelings of patriotic pride...

Pride

As themes go, pride is one of the big ones, especially early in the novel. In the first couple of chapters, pride might be said to be Johnny's defining trait. The idea that pride goeth before a fal...

Mortality (Death)

Any book that deals even tangentially with war will probably include the theme of death and mortality in some way because the one thing all wars have in common is that people die in them. The theme...

Politics

Johnny's introduction to the world of politics comes courtesy of his job as a rider for the Whig newspaper, the Boston Observer. The theme of politics is most evident in the middle of the Johnny Tr...

Society and Class

Whenever we hear about the Revolutionary War, the idea that Americans fought to free themselves from the constraints of a class-based society comes up, so it's natural that Johnny Tremain would dea...

Language and Communication

What do language and communication have to do with rebellion? A lot, as we see in Johnny Tremain. Issues of language and communication appear in two major areas: personal literacy and the freedom i...
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