Peter breaking glass with a bat
"A wildness that he couldn't control. The exhilarating fright of that wildness. His mother's blue gazing globe, batted off its pedestal into a million shards." - Peter (pg 217).
This quote is from Peter, (the main character in Pax by Sarah Pennypacker) he is remembering a difficult memory about when he broke his mom's glass globe. This memory is especially bad because this was the last time he ever saw his mom before she died. Before she left him she told him to "Control your anger" and to not "Be like him". This quote supports the theme because he lets this memory define his own personality. For example, on page 120 he says "I'm not angry." and "What if he was like his father, with that threatening kind of anger?" This shows that Peter is trying to never be angry.
Vola calls herself a "hand grenade"
"I'm an unpredictable deadly weapon. It's best that I stay hidden here, where no one will ever be hurt by me." - Vola (Pg. 190)
This quote is from Vola when she is telling Peter how she is unpredictable and cannot be trusted. This ties in to the theme of the book because when Vola was fighting in the war, she made a choice to kill a man. Because of this, Vola thinks that she is a weapon and hides herself away from society. But now, because of Peter, she doesn't shut herself in any more. For example, towards the end of the book, Peter convinces her to teach the children at the library how to use marionettes. This supports the theme because Peter is trying to tell Vola that she should overcome her wrong choice and start living her life in the real world.
A symbol in Pax that relates to the theme of the book is the toy soldier. This is a good symbol for the book because the theme is, don't let wrong choices define who you are. This is shown in the text when Peter made a wrong choice by leaving Pax and throwing the toy. This act caused Pax to think of Peter as false acting because, after throwing the toy, Peter left instead of finding Pax like he usually does.
An example of a character that helped develop the theme in the book was Peter. He knocked over his mom's vase and in doing so, let this choice define himself. Because of this, he blamed himself for his mom's death. He overcame this though and convinced himself that he was not the reason that his mom died.
Another character that developed the theme in the story was Vola. Vola killed a man and was mentally scarred by it, because of this, she hid herself away from society. This ties in with the theme of the book because Vola let that one choice of killing someone define her. She overcomes this because Peter helps her realize her inner self.
A third and final character that developed the theme was Peter's father. He made a choice to neglect his son and abuse him. This defined him as a thoughtless person. At the end though, he changes by embracing his son and showing love.