The Overdue Life of Amy Byler Symbols & Objects

Kelly Harms
This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler.
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Lavender Oil

The bottle of lavender oil represents John's attempts to reconnect with his family. Although their reception of his is initially lukewarm, he produces a bottle of the oil which hearkens them all back to a time when they were all still together and would use it to chase imaginary monsters away. The symbol is especially powerful int he novel due to its characteristic smell, which has a powerful effect on memory recollection; as Amy states, "you know how scents work" (37).

Credit Card

John's credit card represents Amy's general misgivings about allowing John back into the family's lives, torn between the convenience of having someone to care for the kids and the broader implications of his reappearance. Amy's friends encourage her to use the credit card John gave Amy to its full extent, though Amy initially resists, calling it "dirty money" (41). Later on, however, Amy relents...

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This section contains 1,088 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Overdue Life of Amy Byler Study Guide
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