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Jimmy Jack can speak Greek and recites it often. However, he never bathes and smells horribly. This is a symbol that the language is beautiful, but belongs to an era long since passed.
Manus teaches Sarah to speak her name after she has had great difficulty speaking her entire life. The symbol is that if you are able to speak your name, then you have an identity, and if you know who you are then you can do anything in life.
Hugh is the headmaster at the hedge-school, and he is always inebriated. It is a symbol that he doesn't see that world clearly, only through the fog of booze that he pours into himself each day.
Owen is called Rolland by Yolland and Lancey as they believe that is his name based on the Irish translation. This is a symbol of the need for clarity or you could disappear based on what another person determines you are saying.
Manus gets a job teaching with a salary, a place to live and livestock. These are symbols of all things he believes he needs in order for Maire to marry him.
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