Throughout the novel, Borland draws comparisons between the fates of Tom and his bear brother. In these chapters, both Tom and the bear become imprisoned by their new lives away from Bald Mountain. Although Benny and Blue Elk both physically imprison him at times, Tom's imprisonment becomes primarily emotional. Ridiculed by his fellow schoolmates and resentful of the unwelcome changes town life presents, Tom longs to return to his old life. Similarly, Benny chains the bear to a fence where he cannot move. The events at the end of Chapter 15 mark a low point in Tom's young life that will forever affect him and reappear in his thoughts and dreams. After Blue Elk forces his separation from the bear, he falls into a deep depressive daze that remains with him for days after his return to the town. We sense that Tom's separation from the bear marks a fundamental change in his character and a significant loss of innocence on his part.