Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Firekeeper’s Daughter can help.

Dad’s Scarf Symbol Analysis

Dad’s Scarf Symbol Icon

Daunis’s changing relationship to her dad’s green scarf, and the information she learns about its origins, symbolize her coming-of-age journey and her growing comfort with accepting shades of gray. Early on in the novel, Daunis shares with readers that she has fond memories of Dad skating with her and her brother Levi, pulling them around on the ice with his jade-green scarf. In Daunis’s understanding, the scarf is a purely positive symbol she associates with her dad and her childhood innocence.

Because of this, it’s difficult for Daunis to cope with the fact that while Levi is pretty sure the scarf is at his house, he doesn’t know where it is and believes it was actually blue. Though Daunis loves Levi, she senses that they remember things differently—and that perhaps, Levi doesn’t even treasure these memories of skating with Dad nearly as much as Daunis does. But as the novel progresses and as Daunis discovers that Levi is actually involved in the local meth cell, the scarf comes to symbolize the fact that Daunis must embrace a more mature understanding of her brother and of her family—one that acknowledges that Levi and other family members are capable of selfishness and even evil. It’s shocking for Daunis to discover the scarf (which is indeed green) hidden in Levi’s closet, as this tells her that Levi has been lying to her about its whereabouts and qualities for years. She sees Levi’s dishonesty as the ultimate betrayal, one that, combined with Levi’s involvement in the meth cell, forces her to see her brother in a new light.

However, when Daunis confronts Levi about the meth cell and the scarf, Levi also shares more background information about the scarf itself that somewhat changes Daunis’s understanding of it. The scarf, Levi says, was a gift from Daunis’s Mom to his mom, Dana. The scarf, which is the color of Mom’s eyes, was intended to remind both Dad and Dana that Dad initially promised love, marriage, and a life to Mom, and that Dad went back on that promise when he had sex with Dana, impregnated her, and married her. The scarf, Daunis comes to realize, can symbolize many different things. It can continue to represent, for Daunis, happy and uncomplicated memories of skating with her dad. But for other people, like Mom, Dana, and Levi (who’s terrified of wearing the scarf for fear of upsetting Dana), the scarf can represent pain, loss, and betrayal. In this way, the scarf’s multiple meanings mirrors Daunis’s realization that she can continue to love her family, even as she acknowledges that the people she loves are capable of selfishness and evil.

Dad’s Scarf Quotes in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The Firekeeper’s Daughter quotes below all refer to the symbol of Dad’s Scarf. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice Theme Icon
).
Chapter 43 Quotes

My heart skips a beat.

I tip the basket upside down. Staring at the floor where Dad’s scarf lands.

Green, like my mother’s eyes.

Levi kept it from me. He had it all along.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Levi Firekeeper, Dad, Judge Dana Firekeeper
Related Symbols: Dad’s Scarf
Page Number: 391
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Firekeeper’s Daughter LitChart as a printable PDF.
Firekeeper’s Daughter PDF

Dad’s Scarf Symbol Timeline in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The timeline below shows where the symbol Dad’s Scarf appears in Firekeeper’s Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...introducing himself as Jamie Johnson, and then pulls her cousins around the rink with her scarf. Dad used to do this with Daunis and Levi; his scarf was jade green. Daunis... (full context)
Chapter 27
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...to forget about Dad sometimes. He remembers Dad pulling them around the ice with a scarf, but he insists the scarf was blue, not green, and that he can’t find it... (full context)
Chapter 33
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Shagala, the benefit game, and Daunis’s birthday, and Daunis says all she wants is Dad’s scarf. Levi promises to look for it. (full context)
Chapter 40
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Levi passes Daunis’s birthday gift to her across the table. It’s not Dad’s scarf: it’s Dad’s choker from his regalia. Levi hugs Daunis and whispers that there’s another surprise... (full context)
Chapter 43
Justice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...more. Daunis is so scared that she knocks over a lidded basket. Inside is Dad’s scarf. Levi has been lying to her. Daunis pockets the scarf and can hear Dana calling... (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Daunis sits with Dad’s scarf around her shoulders and inventories what she knows. She realizes that Uncle David intended the... (full context)
Chapter 48
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
...assure her that Jamie will be safe. She hisses at Levi that she found Dad’s scarf, so she knows he’s a liar. Mike tells Daunis to let him unlock her chain... (full context)
Chapter 49
Justice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Daunis asks if that’s how Dana got Dad and asks why Levi lied about the scarf. Suddenly scared, Levi says that Dana told him Mom gave the scarf to Dad to... (full context)