If you can control your emotions then you can change how you respond to a situation.
"It can serve us: many good things come out of anger at bad things; many unjust things are made just. But, first we all have to figure out how to civilize it." pg. 218
Vola tells this to Peter after he finds out that his Dad knew about the bombs and the land mines. After this discovery Peter is very angry and thinks that Pax is dead. The anger was not helpful. If Peter would have controlled his emotions he might not have not gotten so angry . If he had thought about it, he would have realized that maybe Pax was still alive , and he had to quickly try to find him. Because of Vola, Peter learned that controlling your emotions is very important for the future.
"And with that image his anxiety struck, knocking the breath right out of him" pg. 51
The narrator, states this after after Pax leaves his grandfather's house. Pax was thinking about how his grandfather could be coming home any minute and catch him. In that scene Peter is not able to cope with his anxiety. Afterwards, he has to wait for his anxiety to settle down. If Peter could control his anxiety he might have been able to leave more quickly and find Pax faster. This is another way that controlling your emotions can make it easier for you to act in a tough situation.
Vola probably looked like that when coming out of war.
Vola plays a main part in creating the theme. On page 218 she gives the quote mentioned before. That quote is important for Peter because she explains to him that emotions are good, but you have to control them. If Vola had not said this then Peter could have gotten more angry throughout the story and then given up and stop looking for Pax. Vola is also important for the theme because she herself has learned how to control her anger and is helping Peter do the same. That is how Vola plays a main part in the theme.
This is when Peter saw Pax for the first time in a while
Peter is also a very important character for this theme. Peter is important because he is the one main character that needs to control his anger and anxiety. Peter needs to do this so he, for example , when trying to find Pax. When you're angry you can't think logically. Another example of Peter needing to control his anxiety is when he constantly has an anxiety snake that strikes at any time. An example of his anxiety striking is at the beginning of the story when he is thinking about how his mom and some tulips that had been eaten by a rabbit. Peter had set a trap which was supposed to capture the rabbit. Instead , because of Peter's trap coyotes killed the rabbit . Peter felt very guilty about this, and it cam back to haunt him. If Peter could control this anxiety he could stop being worried about Pax and instead only focus on finding hime. That is how Peter is important for this theme.
Pax when he was left on the side of the road
Pax is very important to this theme. Pax is important because he is a character that controls his emotions. When Pax was left on the side of the road he did not lose control of a scary situation. If Pax had freaked out he could have walked in the road by accident. Also when Grey died, Pax didn't start sobbing but controlled his emotions. If he wasn't able to control his emotions when Grey died Pax may have never made it back to Bristle and Runt's den. Peter and Pax may have never met up again if he couldn't control his emotions. That is example of how Pax can control his emotions.
Symbol: Baseball Bat
The bat Vola gave peter probably look like that
In the Story Pax there are many symbols. For example Peter thinks of his anxiety as a snake that strikes . The one that was most important in the story would have to be the baseball bat. The baseball bat is a very important because for Peter it is the last memory he has of his mom. When Peter was little he hit a vase and his mom had to clean it up. She was so angry with him that she went to the store but got into a car accident and sadly died. After that Peter could not hold a baseball bat because it brought back the memory of him and his mom during the last argument. Towards the end when Vola gives him a new one, Peter puts everything behind in the past. It is also important because it is the gift that Vola gave Peter to remember Vola by. That is how the baseball bat is an important symbol in Pax.