Study Guide

Jacob Have I Loved Chapter 6

By Katherine Paterson

Chapter 6

  • Louise's relationship with Caroline is pretty strained around this time. Sure, they share a bedroom and eat together and go to school together, but they aren't close to each other. Heck, even sharing a womb didn't help them bond.
  • On days when Louise comes home from crabbing, Caroline might make some comment about her fingernails being dirty that really ticks off Louise.
  • It isn't so much about her nails, of course; it's Caroline's implication that Louise is dirty and Caroline is beautiful and perfect and lovely. Of course, Caroline also refuses to fight with her, which is what makes Louise maddest of all.
  • Louise hates Caroline—really, truly hates her—and sometimes, she'll dream her sister is dead, or even that she killed her. Then, Louise will wake up laughing and relieved.
  • This makes Louise feel pretty darn bad. She's a good Christian, and she's not supposed to think such wicked thoughts.
  • On the flip side, though, God's been known to love some baddies. He loved David, and he committed adultery and murder; Moses also messed up a bunch. Heck, Paul held people's coats while they stoned St. Stephen. So, maybe God will forgive Louise, too, you know?
  • Louise cooks up a plan to find ways to catch more crabs and make more money, all so she can save up enough to pay the tuition at a boarding school. She figures escaping the island and Caroline might help improve her situation.
  • Of course, she does feel a little bit guilty about not turning over all her crabbing money to the family. No one ever said she had to, but it's made her feel good to contribute to the household … unlike Caroline and Grandma.
  • In addition to catching crabs with Call, Louise tries her hand at writing song lyrics. Call isn't too impressed, but what does he know about poetry, right?
  • Louise sends the lyrics to music folks and then eagerly waits for a reply.
  • As she's standing around the docks every day waiting for the mail to come in, she thinks about the Captain. What exactly is up with that guy? Who is he? She decides that she has to know for sure.

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