Classical Childrens Books

Bronze Bow Themes and Symbols

Discover the themes, symbols, and literary elements in Elizabeth Speare's classic novel, The Bronze Bow

Bronze Bow Literary Quiz

Symbolism in The Bronze Bow

Bronze Bow Diagram

The most obvious symbol is in the title: A bronze bow

At first Daniel suspects the bow stands for strength and the ability to win a battle.

But he and his friends discover it stands for love, only love can bend a bow of bronze.

Definition of Symbol

Themes

Bronze Bow Diagram

The primary theme of this story is kingdom.

More specifically, the kingdom of God is built on love. This ties into the symbolism of the bronze bow mentioned above.

In our unit study, we give students guidance in how they could identify this as the main theme. The clues include:

Other Themes

Other themes that are related to kingdom include:

Character Development

This is one of the best stories for young readers to watch character development unfold. Activities in our 109 page unit study related to character development include:

Climax and Denouement

Action Plot Diagram

The Bronze Bow presents a unique climax and denouement for young readers in that they climax occurs at the end with a quick and short denouement after it.

The climax occurs when Daniel decides to speak to Marcus rather than continue running to speak to Jesus.

In the short denouement Daniel is surprised by the Romans relief at his sister's improvement; then the readers are surprised by Daniel's invitation for Marcus to come into his home. "Will you come into our house?" he asked.

It is a short denouement indeed, but it speaks volumes.

(It should be noted that the author craftily placed much of the work of the denouement into the paragraphs before the climax: Leah's recovery, Malthace's love. We don't confuse our budding novelists with this tidbit.)

Denouement and Character Development

Most readers are likely familiar with character development: a change in the character as a result of the action of the story. This tale gives us a chance to contrast the denouement as the external change in the character's situation and the character development as the internal change.

Out quiz lists these parts of the story for the students to match:

Interconnected Elements

Literary Theme, Moral, Purpose Diagram 399x307

In the Action Plot Diagram above you will see two sets of three circles: these demonstrate the interconnectedness of the elements: themes, moral, and purpose are usually related. In this story particularly, they are closely linked. The smaller circles illustrate that themes, symbols, and motifs are inter-connected. We use the final quiz in our Bronze Bow Unit Study to emphasize how these elements are interconnected.

The elements to be matched are arranged categorically so readers can see they are related. To make it simpler for struggling students, the elements can be read orally and matched as a group project. (Instructions are provided to modify the final quiz to make it easier or harder, depending on students' academic ability and comfort with abstract reasoning.)


Decisions

Bronze Bow Diagram

Characters need to make decisions. The decisions reflect the person's character and also move the plot of a story along.

Throughout the chapters, there are decisions to be made. Some of the most important include:

Print Our Bronze Bow Unit Study

Bronze Bow Worksheet Bronze Bow Lesson Bronze Bow Teachers Key
Student Guide AND Teacher's Answer Key Included
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Pages on The Bronze Bow

A timeline tale of hate and love

Unit Study Bronze Bow Unit Study
Fabulous resources for Elizabeth Speare's novel
Maps Bronze Bow Maps
Five new maps to illustrate chapter events
Themes & Symbols Bronze Bow Themes and Symbols
Themes, Symbols, Character Development
Vocabulary Bronze Bow Vocabulary
Words and definitions for each chapter

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Ready To Use Resources

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