Why does Daniel feel out of place at the celebration in the vineyards in The Bronze Bow?Why does he walk away while the girls are dancing?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daniel feels out of place at the celebration in the vineyards for a couple of reasons. First of all, he does not have any nice clothes -

"even in his best cloak he (stands) out plainly for just what he (is), a peasant and a smith...he dare(s) not even approach too near to these elegant youths with their gaily striped cloaks, their leather sandals, their carefully oiled and combed forelocks and beards".

Even more important than this, however, is the fact that Daniel, having lived the past years running with Rosh's renegade band in the mountains, has no idea how to socialize among a carefree group of his own age.  The other young people at the festival all know each other -

"They...(call) out greetings, (jostle) and (jest), while he (stands) awkward and angry and alone".

Daniel has given his life for one cause only, that of fighting to restore Israel to freedom.  Hatred for the Romans has ruled his life, and has left no room for the experiences of celebration and friendship.

When Daniel sees Thacia, his breath is taken away.  She is so beautiful, and he is embarrassed by "his homespun garment with his soot-grimed hands and his bare feet".  Daniel dreads the thought that Thacia might be ashamed of him if she sees him, and so he leaves while the girls are still dancing. 

Daniel loves Thacia, but feels that there is no place in his life for a woman and marriage because of his vow to fight for God's Kingdom.  He struggles to suppress his feelings for her, not realizing that he has both underestimated her ability to understand the situation and misinterpreted the nature of the Kingdom for which he longs (Chapter 22).

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The Bronze Bow

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