Bridge of Clay Symbols & Objects

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The Iliad and The Odyssey

The two poems by the ancient Greek poet Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey, act as symbols across the novel of Penny Dunbar's influence on her five sons, and of the continued presence her memory plays in their lives. The books are a favorite of Penny's father, Waldek Lesciuszko, when she is a child in Poland, and they become an important part of her childhood. When Waldek plans for Penny to emigrate out of eastern Europe, he hides both books in her bag before she leaves.

Later, when Penny has children, she reads to them from an English translation of Homer. After she dies, Tommy names his various animals after characters from the poems: Hector, Telemachus, Agamemnon, and Achilles. He names his dog "Rosy," after a description of a "rosy sky" in The Iliad. The boys finally place the books, along with...

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This section contains 2,465 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bridge of Clay Study Guide
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