Study Guide

Crispin: Cross of Lead Freedom

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Crispin doesn't yet understand the concept of freedom when Father Quinel tells him to seek it, but figuring out what freedom means to him—and then figuring out how to gain it—is one of his major inner journeys in Crispin: The Cross of Lead, second only to figuring out who he is and where he belongs. The concept of freedom is also linked to the major historical movement the book deals with, namely the political unrest in England that led to the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, which John Ball helped to lead. As Crispin seeks his freedom, the whole society is about to experience a major upheaval, too.

Questions About Freedom

  1. What does freedom mean to Crispin? To Bear? To John Ball?
  2. How is the idea of freedom in the book different from and similar to the way we think of freedom today? Be specific, yo.
  3. What does it mean that Crispin and his mother are not slaves but also are not free?
  4. At the end of the novel, is Crispin free? Why or why not?

Chew on This

There is evidence in the novel that most people would support a revolt to earn their freedom.

Over the course of the novel, Crispin discovers the true meaning of freedom.

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