Echo fortæller fire forskellige, fortryllende historier fra forskellige tider og steder. Det er en fortælling om ofring, familie, venskab og musikkens forenende kraft. Den er opdelt i fire forskellige dele: Ottos historie i slutningen af 1800-tallet i Tyskland; Friedrichs historie i 1933 i Tyskland; Mikes historie i 1935 i Pennsylvania; og Ivys historie i 1942 i det sydlige Californien.
Eleverne kan illustrere eksempler på temaer, symboler og motiver i Echo af Pam Munoz Ryan!
THEME: NEW BEGINNINGS
Another recurring theme is the prospect of new beginnings in each story. The characters have to evolve and readjust to new situations and surroundings and be willing to accept new people into their hearts. For example, Mike and Frankie with Mrs. Sturbridge, Mr. Howard, and Mr. & Mrs. Potter.
The harmonica is a symbol of hope. It travels from person to person, providing hope, comfort, and confidence to all who possess it. The factory in Trossingen, Germany provides jobs and hope to those who work there. It is a simple instrument, easily carried, and accessible to all. It becomes very popular in the U.S. In Nazi Germany, however, Hitler deems the instrument not "German enough". Otto playing the harmonica is not only a symbol of hope but one of defiance of the brutal regime.
For Friedrich, Braham's lullaby is a sign of comfort and his father's unwavering love. Mike and Frankie play “America the Beautiful”, and the song leads them to Mrs. Sturbridge. For Ivy, it’s “Auld Lang Syne”, which is about honoring old memories and being open to new beginnings. Friedrich's father says, “Music does not have a race or a disposition, [it] is a universal language [that] surpasses all distinctions between people."
ECHO Themes, Symbols, and Motifs
Family is a central theme in the novel as all of the characters cherish their families. The bonds within each family help give the characters confidence and strengthen the characters resolve and determination to push on despite many hardships.
All of the characters have to overcome great obstacles to achieve their dreams. Despite all the hardships that they face, they persevere and by the end of the novel, the reader sees the result of their determination and refusal to give up. All three are performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City.