The Shoemaker and the Tea Party

1100 WordsApr 23, 20195 Pages
The Shoemaker and the Tea Party by Alfred Young revolves around two bibliographies written about one of the last living participants of the Boston Tea Party, and the authors own interpretations of the events surrounding the Tea Party and the American Revolution as a whole. In this particular novel, Young explores what it means to rediscover history, and how history is continually redefined. Particular attention in the novel is given to public history, and how highlighting people otherwise lost to time can completely change how an event is perceived. Readers are given the opportunity to see the history behind the American Revolution through the lenses of an average man of that time. In this essay I will review the novel and the message…show more content…
Young also makes reference to some of the countless books he serendipitously came across in his research surrounding the American Revolution, and the event that would come to be known as the Boston Tea Party. Young pulls from his large selection of evidence to make his points throughout the novel. In order to understand Hewes, Young delved into the psychology of memory and references noted psychologist Daniel Schachter. (xiii.) By understanding why someone remembers an event in a particular way, gives insight into how memories are consolidated. Hewes’ memory for a man is age is remarkable to say the least. The emotion tied to a particular memory is able to enhance it (xii). Young seems to use this evidence to lend creditability to the way that Hewes remembers particular events such as the Boston Massacre. At the same time, Young explores while Hewes would be able to remember more during the interviews for the second bibliography written about him. Young implies that the first interview essentially helped to focus Hewes memory which allowed him to remember more easily with Thatcher in his second interview as well as remembering new anecdotes. The first portion of the novel deals mostly with Hewes life and why he lived the life that he did. Young’s portrayal of a young Hewes, ever defiant, immediately causes a reader to reminisce of his or her own childhood. It soon becomes evidently clear that “where one ended up in life depended

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