Topic #1: Malthace, Leah, and Other Women as Protagonists
I. Thesis Statement: Although some readers might feel that Daniel is the chief protagonist of Speare’s novel, the women of The Bronze Bow exemplify behavior that is both extraordinary and heroic. Malthace proves intelligent, brave, and loving. Leah, despite her trauma, overcomes her enormous personal “demons” to become a thoughtful young woman whose work in the home is invaluable. Throughout The Bronze Bow, major and minor female characters act in ways that make them true protagonists.
II. Malthace overcomes traditional prejudices about the abilities of women.
A. Malthace is portrayed as an equal to her twin from the first chapter. She travels with him on holiday and is portrayed as an athlete, scampering up the rocks “like a mountain goat.”
B. Thacia correctly interprets the meaning of David’s verse concerning “the bronze bow.” Even though it is her brother who is the scholar, Malthace has an innate ability to analyze and think things through.
C. She insists that she be allowed to take the vow to fight for freedom and offers solid argument for her position by citing other women in the Bible who have served God.
III. The character of Leah is a more traditional but still valuable female protagonist.
A. Leah, without any modern means of counseling, overcomes the unbelievable trauma of witnessing her parents’ and grandmother’s deaths, her brother’s slavery, and his extended abandonment of her.
B. Leah does work in the home that Daniel is unable to do. Without her efforts, the home would not function.
C. Leah’s loom, a metaphor for her ability to keep the family together, also brings in needed income. Her fine work also garners the respect of the community.
D. Leah is the first to extend her love beyond her ethnic group by...
(The entire section is 742 words.)
1. What does Daniel witness that makes him vow revenge on the Romans?
(a) The crucifixion of his father and the death of his mother.
(b) The destruction of his grandmother's house.
(c) The abduction of his sister.
(d) The burning of Ketzah.
2. Where is Daniel from?
3. How long does Daniel live on the mountain before meeting Joel and Malthace?
(a) Five years.
(b) Two years.
(c) One year.
(d) One week.
4. Why do Joel and his sister Malthace come to the mountain?
(a) Malthace is looking for special herbs for healing.
(b) They want to see the view of the land below.
(c) Joel has heard an army is being formed there to fight the Romans.
(d) Joel is running away from a Roman Legionnaire.
5. Who rescued Daniel on the mountain years ago?
6. What do most people think that someone is doing on the mountain?
(a) Manning a look out post.
(b) Setting up a new government.
(c) Raising an army to fight the Romans.
(d) Hiding from the law.
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