The eagle allegory is symbolic and thematic ."One day, ran the story, an eagle ladi her eggs in a nest..." and ends with "We have,says Lina."
To analyze this passage that begins with "One day, ran the story, an eagle laid her eggs in a nest..." and ends with "We hav, says Lina.
I loved this allegory, which I think Lina tells Florens. You have to keep in mind that nearly everyone in the story is an orphan in some way or another. Everyone has been displaced and they are in a new environment, removed from his/her roots and now facing very difficult circumstances. The story as I recall entails eggs that are falling from a high nest. And possibly that the mother has pushed the eggs out of the nest so that the man who has come into the valley will not harm or take the eggs. The falling eggs separated from the mother parallel the story of all of the orphans in the story. Florens has been separated from her mother--her mother purposely abandons her so that she might have a better life. Lina has been separated by her indian tribe because it was wiped out by smallpox, and she's sort of become a drifter that has been picked up by the French and a protestant group. Disease has made her an orphan. Sorrow grew up living on a boat but everyone died, so she becomes a casteaway who is taken in by Sir. Sir himself grew up in London as a literal orphan. He was told that his mother was a woman of no consequence who chose not to take care of him. Eventually he comes to the New World because he buys into all the promises of fortune. Rebekka is also a kind of orphan because her father has basically sold her off as a mail order bride. Sir put out an ad for a wife and Rebekka's father answered and put his daughter on a boat. Everyone is scrambling to survive. No one in the new world has family or roots because they are the first to arrive. They are all eggs falling, totally vulnerable to disease, to violence, to starvation, to the winter, and religious wackos who burn people to stakes. What will happen to the eggs? Florens asks. That's when Lina says "we have survived." This is an amazing book!