After Haven Peck dies, Robert finds himself staring at his butchering tools in the tackroom. The handles are dark brown with old age except for the places where Haven's hands had touched them, which are a rich golden color. This is symbolic of the effect of Haven's hard work on the family and especially on Robert. Just as the tools are gilded by his father's touch, Robert is gilded by the love and experience that Haven lavishes on his son.
In the beginning of A Day No Pigs Would Die, Haven scolds his son for skipping school because he wants his son to be able to walk into the bank in Learning one day and write his name. Later he also explains to his son that he is not allowed to vote because he is illiterate. He explains that people just see the X that he uses for his signature and completely ignore the type of man that he is. After Haven dies, while rummaging through the tackroom, Robert comes across a piece of paper on which Haven had been practicing his signature. One of the "Haven Pecks" is almost perfect. This symbolizes that though Haven dies, he had accomplished his goal of making Robert a man.