The symbol of The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace in Orphan Train from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Orphan Train

Orphan Train

The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace Symbol Analysis

The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace Symbol Icon

Like Vivian/Niamh, Molly Ayer also has a necklace from her birth family that holds deep sentimental value. Molly’s charm necklace was a birthday gift from her father (Mr. Ayer) for her eighth birthday, given to her just a couple weeks before his death. The necklace is made of three inexpensive pewter charms. As explained by Molly’s father, each charm is an important animal with symbolic power in Penobscot culture. The teddy bear represents the Maine black bear and imparts courage. The bird represents the raven, which has the power to protect from “bad spells.” The fish imparts the power to resist bad influences and forces. The necklace is precious to Molly, and as a child growing up in the foster care system, she puts she necklace on every time she has to move to a new home. For Molly, the necklace represents the strength and comfort she finds in the memory of her family. It also represents her connection to her past and her cultural identity as a Penobscot Indian.

The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace Quotes in Orphan Train

The Orphan Train quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace. 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:
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of Orphan Train published in 2013.
Chapter 1 Quotes

The charms are all she has left of what used to be her life.

Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace Symbol Timeline in Orphan Train

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Three Pewter Charms / Molly’s Charm Necklace appears in Orphan Train. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Skepticism Theme Icon
...reader that she just wanted to “have it in her possession.” Molly puts on a charm necklace with a fish, a bear and a raven – a gift from Molly’s father for... (full context)
Chapter 20: Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
Secrets, Reality, and Illusions Theme Icon
...to bed, her father came home “swaying.” He woke her up gently and gave her three pewter charms . The bird, he explained, was a raven. The raven would help protect Molly from... (full context)
Chapter 21: Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
Secrets, Reality, and Illusions Theme Icon
...special meaning. Vivian says that it does. Molly tells Vivian about the “metaphorical” magic her charm necklace has for her. She then begins her interview by asking Vivian if she “believes in... (full context)
Chapter 33: Spruce Harbor, Maine
Belonging and Connection Theme Icon
Self and Identity Theme Icon
Safety and Survival Theme Icon
Trauma and Loss Theme Icon
...and imagines herself as a Penobscot Indian journeying with all her possessions. She wears her charm necklace , but thinks of how “the things that matter stay with you, seep into your... (full context)