In chapters 1 and 2 of the Bronze Bow, why did Joel not appear to be intimidated by Rosh?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Joel is by nature not easily intimidated.  Daniel notes immediately that "the boy (is) no coward" (Chapter 1) by his reaction when he surprises him in the mountains, and by the "stubborn set of his jaw" and his retort, "Who are you to order me around?  You don't own this mountain.  And neither does Rosh" (Chapter 2) when he is urged to leave.  Besides being courageous, Joel deeply hates the Romans.  He has heard that Rosh is raising an army which will be led by the promised Messiah and bring deliverance to the Israelites, and he yearns to join them.  Meeting Rosh is a dream-come-true for Joel, and his steadfast nature combined with an element of "pure hero-worship" (Chapter 2) overcomes any sense of intimidation he might feel. 

sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Joel comes from a privileged background. Daniel notices that he walks with a "free, swinging ease," and, remembers that as the "scribe's son," Joel was "the one the rabbi held up for an example" (2). All of this gives Joel a sense of confidence that Daniel lacks at the beginning of the novel. Despite this background, however, Joel admires the freedom that he associates with the Daniel lives on the mountain and has, like Daniel, made Rosh into a myth, that he will lead a revolt against the Romans, that both characters ultimately find to be wrong. Because of this confidence due to class and background and admiration due to a child-like hero worship, Joel can stand his ground with the rough Rosh.