What is the main conflict in The Bronze Bow?

The major theme of this novel is forgiveness and love. Daniel comes to realize that he has been consumed by his own anger, and that he must forgive the Romans in order to truly be free.

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The main external conflict between Daniel and the Romans induces a profound internal conflict within the young man's soul. Despite being thoroughly determined to drive the hated Roman oppressor from Israel, Daniel becomes conflicted over the violent methods adopted by the zealots to achieve this overriding aim.

Through his experiences of serving with Rosh, Daniel witnesses first-hand the corrosive effects of hatred and violence on the soul—how they can so easily transform even the most ardent freedom-fighters into common thieves and cutthroats, who think nothing of robbing their own people (the very people they're supposed to be fighting for).

In due course, Daniel comes to realize that violence solves nothing, which is why he finally resolves his inner conflict by leaving behind his former life as a zealot and chooses instead to embrace Jesus Christ and his message of peace.

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The main conflict is between Daniel and the Romans.

A conflict is a struggle between opposing forces.  This can be between two characters, between a character and his or her self, or between a character and the setting.  In this case, Daniel’s conflict with the Romans is based on his condition as a slave and their killing of his family.

Daniel faces internal conflicts when he can’t decide whether to follow Rosh or Jesus.  He wants to be the one to fight for his family, but he also wants change.

Jesus is a calming and focusing influence on Daniel.  He helps give him something positive to focus on, rather than relying on the negative.

When Jesus asks Daniel what he vowed, he responds.

“To fight!”  Daniel stopped…trying to remember the exact words they had spoken…. “To live and to die for God’s victory.” (Ch. 21, p. 226)

Jesus responds that this is not a vow of hate.  He sees potential in David.  He knows that there is instability everywhere, and conflict everywhere, but violence and anger is not the answer.

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What are some major themes of The Bronze Bow?

The most important theme is that of forgiveness and love. Daniel is entirely ruled by his emotions and his need for revenge; he is driven by anger and not thinking about the larger consequences of his actions. For example, when he and Rosh's bandits attack Roman forces, the Romans take it out on the villagers because they cannot find Rosh and his people. Over the course of the novel, both through his friendship with Joel and Thacia and through the teachings of the preacher Jesus, Daniel realizes that he cares about more than just himself; he needs to love and accept other people, even Romans, or his anger will destroy him.

Was it possible that only love could bend the bow of bronze?He sat trembling, glimpsing a new way that he would never see clearly or understand. [...]Almost with the thought the terrible weight was gone. In its place a strength and sureness, and a peace he had never imagined, flowed around him and into his mind and heart.(Speare, The Bronze Bow, Google Books)

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This theme can be clearly seen as Daniel tries to reconcile his own feelings of anger with the clear leadership he feels when he meets Jesus. In Daniel's eyes, the preacher is the perfect leader for a revolution, and he cannot understand why Jesus is not leading the rebellion. It is only later that Daniel realizes Jesus means to change people through their hearts, not through the sword, and that this is ultimately a more effective method of rebellion.

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What is a main theme in The Bronze Bow?

One major theme is the importance of family and friends. Daniel starts the novel isolated from everyone he knew, set apart from his village and without any ties to his former life. Through his deepening friendship with Joel and Thacia, Daniel discovers that his former life not only mattered, but that he possessed a deeper connection to it than he ever realized.

"You thought I had forgotten," he said. "But I remember how it used to be when Leah and I first came to live with you. Your hair was still so black, Grandmother. You worked in the ketzah field that summer. But at night you used to tell us stories."(Speare, The Bronze Bow, Google Books)

After this scene, in which Daniel reconnects with his sister as their grandmother dies, Daniel discovers that he cannot return to his life with the bandits as he had lived it before. His heart has been reborn into caring about his family, and his friendship with Thacia has reminded him -- although he resists it -- that people are not meant to live alone. By the end of the novel, Daniel has realized that his life with his family and the villagers is more important than revenge, and that forgiveness is a more powerful tool than violence.

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