The Story of Tom Brennan

by

J. C. Burke

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“The Legend of the Brennan Brothers” Symbol Analysis

“The Legend of the Brennan Brothers” Symbol Icon

Back in Mumbilli, the local paper followed Tom and Daniel's rugby career closely, often referring to the two as "The Legend of the Brennan Brothers." Though Tom used to believe that the paper's interest was emblematic of his future rugby success (and of Daniel's as well), after the accident and the move to Coghill, reminders of the paper's interest help to trap Tom in thinking only about the past. The feature then comes to symbolize Tom's past and his fixation on linking rugby with Daniel, a habit that keeps Tom from recognizing his own potential and the fact that he's a valuable player in his own right. When Tom later makes the scrapbook for Daniel and includes newspaper clippings about “The Legend,” Tom is symbolically able to give away the burden of the legend, which in turn allows him to focus on his future as an individual. In this way, when Tom is finally able to recognize his value as a player separate from his brother—and by extension, separate from "The Legend of the Brennan Brothers"—it symbolizes Tom's final coming of age and understanding of himself as an individual.

“The Legend of the Brennan Brothers” Quotes in The Story of Tom Brennan

The The Story of Tom Brennan quotes below all refer to the symbol of “The Legend of the Brennan Brothers”. 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:
Family Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Story of Tom Brennan published in 2005.
Chapter Fifteen Quotes

"The best thing about playing in the firsts at St. John's was playing with you, Dan." As I said it I realized that towards the end it had become the worst thing too—trying to carry him as his game slipped and he stopped caring about us, the Brennan brothers.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:
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“The Legend of the Brennan Brothers” Symbol Timeline in The Story of Tom Brennan

The timeline below shows where the symbol “The Legend of the Brennan Brothers” appears in The Story of Tom Brennan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Nine
Identity and Independence Theme Icon
...ball-handling skills every day after school at home. That led to the beginning of “ the legend of the Brennan brothers .” (full context)
Chapter Eleven
Debt and Redemption Theme Icon
...go through the old scrapbooks. He flips one open to a newspaper clipping of “ The Legend of the Brennan Brothers ” and then flips backwards. Tom pulls out the scrapbook on the bottom of the... (full context)