In The Bronze Bow, why does Daniel's anger at Thacia turn to shame when she lifts the Roman pack?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Thacia and Daniel visit the city, Thacia disguised as Joel, they meet a pair of Roman soldiers. Local laws allow Romans to force Jews to carry their packs for one mile, and when they make the request, Daniel is overcome with his frustration and righteous indignation. He cannot see past his blind hatred for Romans and refuses, spitting at the feet of one soldier. To keep them from being arrested, Thacia picks up a pack and they both carry the packs for one mile. At first, Daniel is furious at Thacia for giving in, but then:

Let her fall, and see if he cared! In a moment he looked sideways again. He saw the drops of moisture that clung to her forehead and trickled down her chin. Suddenly shame for her flooded over his own. Thacia!

"Put it down," he muttered, shifting closer to her. "I'll take mine on and come back for it."

"--nothing of the kind," she panted. "Keep quiet. Don't talk."
(Speare, The Bronze Bow, Google Books)

Thacia is not used to this hard physical labor, and yet she was willing to put herself through pain and difficulty to keep him from getting killed. Daniel realizes that he did not have the moral fortitude to pick and choose his battles; he wanted to clash with the Romans on their terms, not on his own. Thacia showed him that there is no shame in playing along until the they gain the ability to fight back; Daniel feels shame because his temper forced her into the painful burden.