Johnny Tremain

Why is chapter 2 entitled the pride of your power?

Chapter 2

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In Chapter 2, Forbes raises the question of responsibility for Johnny’s accident. No one person is fully responsible. Dove is probably the most guilty, but even he just wanted to play a prank on Johnny––he did not intend to ruin the boy’s career. Mrs. Lapham suggested that Johnny work in the first place, and Forbes emphasizes that Dusty saw Dove get the cracked crucible but chose not to say anything. Even Johnny himself is partially responsible––he broke the Sabbath, and he also chose to work without supervision from Mr. Lapham.

Each of the characters’ lapses in judgment can be explained by pride. Johnny’s pride has already been discussed in depth, but pride also influences Dove and Mrs. Lapham. It does not occur to Dove that his prank could go awry, and he believes it is his place to teach Johnny a lesson for being bossy. Likewise, Mrs. Lapham encourages Johnny to work on Sunday because she is desperate to improve the family’s financial and social standing.