Summary and Analysis
Linda continues to hide in the garret, but when she learns that Mr. Sands has been elected to Congress and will leave for Washington shortly, she risks revealing her hiding place to beg him to free her children before he leaves. He agrees to do what he can.
After Mr. Sands leaves, Linda writes numerous letters to Dr. Flint and — with the help of her friends — has them postmarked from New York to trick Dr. Flint into thinking she has left the state.
Linda's determination to trick or outwit Dr. Flint may bring to mind the experiences of Penelope, Odysseus' wife, who used her "cunning" to escape the pursuit of her numerous suitors. (Homer, The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Anchor Books, 1963. Book 2, 21-22.)
After assuring them that she would marry one of them only after she has finished weaving a shroud for Lord Laertes, she spends her days weaving the shroud and her nights unraveling it. Thus, like Penelope — whose husband, Odysseus, is generally cited as the ultimate trickster — Linda uses her cunning to save herself and her family.