Forge by Laurie Anderson Literary Analysis

Last Updated: 25 May 2023
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Forge is Laurie Halse Anderson’s second installment to the Chains series following up her previous novel, Chains. The escapades of the young African American slaves, Isabel and Curzon, continue in this sequel to Chains. Young Curzon and Isabel are forced to endure the hardships of maturing during the demanding time of the American Revolution. Curzon and Isabel are runaway slaves who have a high risk of getting captured with their past catching up to them every step of the way. Forge is told from the perspective of Curzon in a journal-like fashion, each entry has a date.

Laurie Halse Anderson had a team of researchers gather an immense amount of information on the American Revolution and the time period to make her Historical Fiction novel as realistic as possible. By making Forge’s novel structure journal entries from Curzon’s angle, Anderson was adept in making the reader connect, investigate, and comprehend his character and the American Revolution further. Curzon is faced with many changes in the Forge including maturing into a young adult.

Many readers will be able to make a strong connection to the feelings and the new challenges evoked by young Curzon’s first hand view into becoming a man. Anderson’s target audience is young adults for a reason. Forge is a great “coming of age novel” like The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin. Since the book is in a journal entry format, many readers who are going through the similar changes can get a day by day account of growing up which creates a very strong relationship between the reader and Curzon. Curzon experiences mixed emotions for Isabel, even ones that he has never felt before.

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Curzon seemed to have a big brother type of relationship at the beginning of Forge but toward the end he develops somewhat of tenderness for Isabel. All the amends to his life are very evident in his action which is an experience that everyone will more. Each journal entry is headed with an important date that has relevance to events that happen in the American Revolution. Curzon was a soldier in the Patriot army which subjected him to many battles. After reading a Chapter in Forge, you can search the date of the entry. You can find out a great deal more about what Curzon was experiencing.

Anderson didn’t just find dates to match events, she had to make Curzon’s point of view as realistic as possible. This required in depth knowledge and study of other eye witness accounts of the American Revolution. Practically everything in Anderson’s novel is has historical significance, even some of the characters. While reading Forge, you are absorbing the culture and events of the Revolutionary War. Slavery is one of our nation’s biggest regrets. Winning our independence is the United States proudest moment. The two are much intertwined with each other and especially with Curzon.

Each entry in Forge is filled with the hardships of being a slave and fighting for freedom as well as fighting for your country. Curzon is the narrator of Forge; each of his thoughts and feelings are described carefully in each entry. The callous and inhumane ways that Curzon was treated were completely preposterous. If Forge wasn’t formatted into diary-like entries, the reader would have a much harder time understanding the impulses of Curzon. The first person point of you makes you value his lust for freedom and his covet for the lovely Isabel much more than if it were written any other way.

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Forge by Laurie Anderson Literary Analysis. (2017, Mar 30). Retrieved from

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