Is Nathan a savant?

  • He has trouble tying shoes and buttoning his shirt.
  • He learns foreign languages very quickly.
    In Zarephath he picks up Phoenician and does most of the talking. Does he give Elijah’s me too speech for him?
  • He loves animals but withdraws from people — all except Elijah.

“with all these creatures he kept up a most playful, loving style of conversation; though, often enough, any human beings about him, or such even as came to see him, were growled or grunted at in no social fashion.”

  • mute but…Slowly, aided by his teachers, he learned to speak by the age of nine
  • He stays close to Elijah because he feels safe with him.
    Elijah picks grapes and lugs them to the wine press and helps run the wine press — and Nathan is always at his elbow working with him.
  • Elijah teaches him to smile at people
    * and look them in the eye.
    * And not to stand in their space.
    * But he looks at them too much so Elijah warns him he’s making them uncomfortable. They have a little signal between them when he tells him to back off or to move in.

warned him that in his eagerness to make eye contact, he tended to stare too intently. “It’s like being on a tightrope,” he said. “If you try too hard, you’ll come off. But you have to try.”

  • Elijah tells him when his hair needs combing and makes sure he wears clean clothes.
  • or cleans the dirt off the ones he has on.


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