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Thacia’s reaction to Daniel when he enters her home characterizes her as a very different sort of person than the one he first sees on the mountain. There he notices “the way that her hair had sprung, clean and alive and shining, like a bird’s wing, aback from the smooth forehead.” Her effect on him is temporarily profound, for the “grace” he sees in her reminds him of Leah, the thought of which “stirred in him an old wound” (24). Thacia’s “shrinking” from Daniel when he enters her house corresponds to Leah doing the same when he first returns home to Leah. While Thacia is, as Josh explains, “putting on city airs,” Leah has been deeply traumatized, but in both cases Daniel must in some way prove himself to these women to garner their affection and respect. Daniel does this with Thacia when he returns for help after he is wounded, demonstrating a form of bravery, devotion, and vulnerability that she admires, and he does this with Leah when he cares for her day after day, indicating he will not abandon her again. In the first case, the girl cares for the boy, reminding him (in his delirium) of his mother, in the other case the boy cares for the girl, providing the nurturance of a mother.
Thacia is going through a bit of an identity crisis. She has been raised in a strictly observant, wealthy Jewish home, one that holds some negative opinions about classes lower than own. When Daniel arrives at her doorstep, bloody and filthy, she is temporarily at odds with her family's values and her own sense of morality. Although at first she is rather cold to Daniel, soon she realizes the error of her ways and becomes the best friend Daniel could ever have and the most loyal companion one could ever want.
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