What finally happened that allowed Daniel to release his obsession of hatred toward the Romans in The Bronze Bow?
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Daniel’s hatred is deep and traumatic. It is rooted in the crucifixion of his father by the Romans when he was a young boy, and compounded by his grandmother selling him into slaver y. Daniel wants to work to free the Jews from the Romans. Daniel joins Rosh, the rebel leader, and his hatred only grows.
Then Daniel meets Simon, a discipline of Jesus. When Daniel first hears about Jesus, he thinks he is “a Zealot” (p. 45). Simon tells Daniel that Jesus preached in the town of Nazareth about the coming of the Kingdom, and they tried to kill him. Jesus preaches to everyone, including women and Jews, about the Kingdom of God. He is gentle and open, accepting everyone and giving guidance instead of being selfish like the rebel leader Rosh.
When Daniel’s sister Leah falls in love with a Roman solider, Daniel is forced to face his anger. It is not until Jesus enters their lives that he is able to do so. Leah is deathly ill, and Daniel feels hopeless.
There was no need to speak. Jesus knew. He understood about Leah. He knew that Daniel had rejected him. His eyes, searching and full of pity, looked deep into the boys and saw the bitterness and hatred and the betrayed hopes and loneliness. And then he smiled. (p. 252)
By spending time with Jesus, Daniel begins to let go of his hate and focus on love. He has a spiritual rebirth. It is Leah who leads Daniel to fully let go of his hate. He is even able to speak to a Roman soldier, and invite him into the house to say goodbye to Leah.
The soldier waited, not understanding. Daniel looked down the road and caught the white flash of Jesus’ robe. Then he straightened his shoulders.
“Will you come into the house?” he asked. (p. 254)
This question, which ends the book, demonstrates that Daniel has released his hatred of the Romans. Although working with Rosh increased it, Jesus diminished it until Daniel could see the Romans as people, and attempt to understand them instead of hate them.
Speare, Elizabeth George. The Bronze Bow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1961. Print.
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