Study Guide

A Break With Charity Ships

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Ahoy, fellow Shmoopers. Did you notice all the ships that show up in this book? There're ships all over the place, and we think it has a lot to do with Susanna's big dreams.

You see, Susanna's big bro William is off at sea, which sounds like the life to our main girl. She thinks being at sea would be the best thing ever because she'd be free as a bird, and since she lives a pretty restricted life in Puritan Salem, you just know that she'd love the freedom that comes with sailing on big wide ocean.

And when Susanna gets to sail with her big bro, that's exactly how she feels:

One fine day, I dressed in some of William's clothes and climbed up the mainmast to the crow's nest.

As I peered out across the calm waters, with the salt spray in my face and the wind blowing my hair, I whispered softly, "This is for you, Mary Bradbury. I do this for you." (Epilogue.14-15)

Aw shucks, we're actually super touched—Susanna finally has her dream come true when she's on a ship, and she brings her gal pal Mary Bradbury along with her in spirit. Plus, she's got that freedom she was always looking for. Now she just better stay on the lookout for icebergs.

So we know that ships are associated with dreams and with freedom. What else are ships linked to in this book?

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