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93 pages 3 hours read

Margaret Peterson Haddix

Uprising

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2007

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Character Analysis

Mrs. Livingston/Bella Rosetti

Bella makes her first appearance in Uprising as Mrs. Livingston, a woman known for taking in other women who need help. She is initially cold toward Harriet Blanck, daughter of The Triangle factory owner, and we learn that this coldness originates from Mrs. Livingston’s experience as a shirtwaist girl. We learn that Mrs. Livingston came to Ellis Island under the name of Bella Rosetti with the aim of sending money back to her starving family in Italy.

When she begins working at The Triangle, Bella cannot speak, read, or write in English. Her illiteracy allows men to emotionally manipulate and financially exploit her. Her landlord, Signor Luciano, keeps Bella’s wages, which he promises to deliver to her family in Italy, knowing she cannot communicate with tellers at the bank. He conceals the deaths of Bella’s family members, knowing she cannot read the letter sent by a priest from her village. Bella’s boss at The Triangle, Mr. Carlotti, preys on Bella’s vulnerability and confusion as a new immigrant, distracting her from the strike with small tokens of money, gifts, and music. He uses her family to threaten her into submission, asking, “What will your family do if you have no job?” (75).

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