- Slides: 11
HIGH SCHOOL LITERATURE 2. 20 The Bronze Bow – A Symbol of a Theme
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare Throughout each chapter of The Bronze Bow we have been able to recognize reoccurring ideas or themes. A theme is a literary technique used by the author to relate important ideas or concepts in a story. Themes often run as a thread throughout the story reminding us of a statement or topic that the characters act out or express verbally by the main characters, or through their thoughts and conversations with others. Authors have their characters say things to express themes related to the story.
The literary device called a “theme. ” Discuss the four ways the author related theme or themes to the reader. Ø The first is through the feelings of the main character related by their thoughts. Ø The second is conversations with other characters in the story that express their thoughts and feelings. Ø The thirds is by asking, what does the main character learn in the course of the story? Ø The fourth is by the action of the story. How will the action of the story express an idea or theme?
The Author’s Reason for Writing. Mrs. Speare published The Bronze Bow in 196 l. She felt that traditional family and Christian values were being challenged. This period of time was also marked by a rise in a scientific philosophy that argued reality was only defined by real tangible evidence and anything that was invisible was to be questioned as unbelievable. When Mrs. Speare accepted the prestigious Newberry Award she remarked that the duty of the writer was to salvage Love, Honor, and Duty. She said, “Those of us who have found Love and Honor and Duty to be a sure foundation must somehow find words which have the ring of truth. ”
The Symbol of the Bronze Bow Mrs. Speare used the bronze bow as a symbol of strength and safety, bent only by Jesus who offered a strong refuge to all. As Daniel struggled with understanding his feelings of hatred and revenge for the Romans, he also struggled to understand the words of scripture Joel recited to him. “God is my strong refuge, And has made my way safe. He made my feet like hinds’ feet, And set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. ” Psalms 18: 34.
A Vow between friends The bronze bow was first introduced as a symbol when Daniel was hurt and Joel and Thacia were taking care of him in secret. While Daniel is ill and resting in the hiding place at Joel’s home, he and Joel and Thacia often talked about how they can free their people from the Romans. They decided to take a vow together. They take an oath or a vow to fight “for God’s victory. ” After making their vow, they want a symbol for what they are trying to do. Joel knows a scripture and they choose the bronze bow to symbolize their efforts and give it meaning. Discuss: Do you think the vow and the symbol they have chosen have the same meaning to each of them? If not what do they each want and believe?
Discuss the symbolic meaning. The symbolic meaning of bending the bronze bow is to show that only through the love and help of God can the bow be bent. When He strengthens us we can do something that seems impossible. What do you think the symbol of the Bronze Bow meant to Joel and Thacia? How did Christ help each of them achieve something impossible in their lives?
Themes of love and forgiveness. The themes of love, forgiveness and self-sacrifice are evident in several of the characters. Discuss these and other themes in the lives of the following people: The theme of self-sacrifice in the characters of Samson, Simon the Zealot, and Joel. The theme of love in the life of Leah. The theme of loyalty in the life of Joel.
Discuss the following. “If I could speak to him! Daniel thought with longing. If I could tell him it is my fault, that I have done this to Leah! Although he held his breath and made no sound, Jesus raised his head, and his eyes met Daniel’s. There was no need to speak. Jesus knew. He understood about Leah…His eyes, searching and full of pity looked deep into the boy’s and saw the bitterness and hatred and the betrayed hopes and the lonliness. And then he smiled. Unable to endure that smile, Daniel bent his head. ”
Discuss Daniel’s Deliverance Daniel’s deliverance is evident not only in intangible and inexpressible feelings, but in his immediate actions towards the Roman centurion he had vowed to hate. Daniel invited him into his home to see Leah in her regained consciousness. His relationship with Malthace, too, is repaired, in both her presence with Jesus at the healing, and her loving concern for him. Discuss the following excerpt from the story: “He heard Thacia catch her breath, and turned and looked into her eyes. He knew he was not worthy of the gift he saw there, but he knew that at last he was free to offer her all that he had in return. In that one brief look they made a new vow together. ” In a moment, Daniel’s hatred has been exchanged for love, his despair for hope, and his torment for life.
Reason and Relate Discuss the following: How do themes of love and forgiveness apply in our lives? Can you identify with the feelings of any of the characters in the book? Do you think the author was successful in getting her ideas across in themes represented by her characters? What do you think would happen if you were to write another chapter to the story?