Johnny Tremain Chapter 2 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Chapter Two's events are difficult for the perfect Johnny Tremain to handle. Read the following lesson to learn what is so challenging for Johnny and the reactions of the others who witnessed it.

Deadline Looming

Johnny leaves the shop one night in search of advice about the project for Mr. Hancock from the most successful silversmith, Paul Revere. Johnny sees Mr. Revere shutting up for the night and is able to ask him about the handles he's trying to create.

Mr. Revere advises him and offers to buy out his contract with Mr. Lapham. Johnny says that he's flattered, but he has loyalty to the Laphams and will not leave. Mr. Revere tells Johnny to keep his offer in mind in case things change.

Johnny Feels the Stress

Johnny's feels he's running out of time with Mr. Hancock's project. His stress is heightened when he returns home and finds they are out of coal. Johnny orders Dove to get coal, but when Dove does, he returns with the lowest quality coal to spite Johnny.

Mr. Lapham notices Johnny's attitude and pulls him aside to tell him that God will punish him if he doesn't change. To further reinforce his point, Mr. Lapham tells Johnny to stop for the day and to read scriptures.

Since Johnny has lost working hours, Mrs. Lapham plans on how to get Johnny some more time to work on Mr. Hancock's order. Since it is illegal to work on Sunday, Mrs. Lapham convinces the girls and the apprentices to keep quiet, and Johnny is to steal a few hours in the shop while Mr. Lapham is out.

Breaking the Law

Johnny begins work on the sugar basin with the help the other apprentices. Unfortunately for Johnny, Dove hopes to humiliate Johnny by giving him a cracked crucible. Dove's plan doesn't work out exactly the way he wants it to, and by using the cracked container, Johnny spills liquid silver all over his hand, causing him to pass out from the pain.

Because they broke the law for working on Sunday, Johnny is taken to a midwife for medical care. She gives him a drug that makes him foggy and wraps his hand up tightly. Johnny remains in a drugged state for days. When Johnny wakes up, he unwraps his injury to find that it has healed with his thumb fused or sealed to his hand, and Johnny can no longer move it like he once could.

Can you imagine liquid silver dripping on your hand?

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