Symbols And Characters Of

& # 8220 ; Bread Givers & # 8221 ; Essay, Research Paper

Symbols and Characters of & # 8220 ; Bread Givers & # 8221 ; .

One of the important characteristics of Judaic history throughout many centuries was migration. From the ancient pre-Roman times to medieval Spain to the present yearss the Jews were expelled from the states they populated, were forced out by political, cultural and spiritual persecution, and sometimes were motivated to go forth merely to get away economic adversity and to happen better life for themselves and for their kids. One of the interesting pages of Judaic history was a monolithic migration from Eastern Europe to America in the period between 1870 an 1920. In that period more than two million Jews left their places in Russia, Poland, Galicia, and Romania and came to the New World. The heaviest volume of that moving ridge of Judaic out-migration came between 1904 and 1908, when more than 650 1000 Judaic emigres came to the US. The Eastern European Jews fled from pogroms, spiritual persecution and economic adversity. We can larn about those times from history text books, but a better manner to understand the feelings and ideas of the fighting emigres is to larn a narrative from an insider, who herself lived there and experienced first manus all the challenges and adversities of the emigres & # 8217 ; life. Anzia Yezierska & # 8217 ; s novel & # 8220 ; Bread Givers & # 8221 ; is a narrative that lets the reader to larn about the life of Judaic Emigrants in the early Twentieth Century on Manhattan & # 8217 ; s lower East Side through the eyes of a hapless immature Jewish adult female who came from Poland and struggled to interrupt out from poorness, from tyrant old traditions of her male parent, and to happen felicity, security, love and apprehension in the new state. The book is rich with symbolism. Different characters and state of affairss in the fresh typify different parts of the emigres & # 8217 ; community and challenges that they faced. The characters range from the male parent, the symbol of the Old World, to the female parent who symbolizes battles and hopelessness of the adult females of the Old World, to the sisters and their work forces, who together represent the picks and chances that opened before the immature coevals of the Judaic emigres in the New World.

The male parent of the narrator, Sarah Smolinsky, is an Orthodox rabbi, Mosheh Smolinsky, with stiff antique constructs, who can non or merely does non do an attempt to recognize himself in America and spends his yearss poisoning lives of his household by prophesying his useless & # 8220 ; wisdom & # 8221 ; , get marrieding off his girls to work forces they don & # 8217 ; t love and populating off rewards the girls earn. Father & # 8217 ; s antique male chauvinist positions about adult females clearly represent the Old World with its out-of-date traditions, and life-crippling Torahs. Practically everything he preaches is contradicted by his actions and later proves to be false. For illustration, when confronted by his married woman about unpaid measures, he preaches that money is non of import and that religious life guided by God & # 8217 ; s Torahs should be a end of every homo. Yet, subsequently, when the clip comes to merry off his girls, the lone thing he cares about is money. He does non care about his girls & # 8217 ; feelings. Their desires and sentiments mean nil to him. He thinks that adult females are dense and are non capable to pick a right partner. He besides thinks that they don & # 8217 ; t merit to do a pick and their felicity in matrimony is non of import. He vies all adult females, including his Daughters and married woman, as brainless slaves, who are born to function their work forces. & # 8220 ; It says in the Torah, merely through a adult male has a adult female an existence. & # 8221 ; he proclaims. So he sees the matrimonies of his girls merely as concern minutess between him and the highest bidder. The end of the dealing is to supply the new hubbies with retainers and give him, the male parent, a material benefit in the hereafter.

He calls Sarah & # 8220 ; difficult bosom & # 8221 ; and blames her for abandoning him, non working in his shop, and non directing him portion of her rewards. He says that she is selfish, heartless, and does non retrieve all the & # 8220 ; good & # 8221 ; things that he did for her. Again, his actions contradict his words. In existent life he was the selfish, lazy autocrat who refused to work, who did non back up his household in any manner, who put all the problems of life on his married woman & # 8217 ; s shoulders and sent his small girls to work, so they could back up him. He did non care that his kids did non have a nice instruction and because of that might non hold a opportunity to win in life, he did non care that that his married woman & # 8217 ; s life became a sorry being, that chiefly consisted of concerns about how to do ends meet. He ne’er took action to do his household & # 8217 ; s life easier. He found an alibi, his faith, to make nil, to work his married woman and kids, to mistreat them emotionally by his & # 8221 ; preaches of wisdom & # 8221 ; , and by changeless reminding that he was a adult male & # 8211 ; a superior maestro, and they were dense adult females, born to be his retainers.

His ain intelligence and ability for good opinion are questionable, nevertheless. He proves to be a sap on several occasions. First, he wastes all the money that his male parent in jurisprudence left him. Then he marries off his girl Mashah to a defrauder, feigning to be a diamond trader. Then he takes all his household & # 8217 ; s money and overpays for a food market shop that about has no merchandize in it. He is excessively chesty to convey his married woman to measure the shop and excessively foolish to make it himself. He prefers to blow the money to assisting his married woman and girls. His vises represent the vises of the Old World, such as poverty deficiency of instruction, out-of-date traditions, deficiency of human rights for adult females, and hopelessness of their state of affairs. The lip service of his preaches show that many Old World views and Torahs are false and therefore should be rebelled against and left buttocks.

Unfortunately, adult females of the Old World did non hold the option to

Rebel. The Judaic society of Eastern Europe would non digest it. So the adult females had no pick but to be retainers of their work forces and their state of affairs was hopeless. Sarah’s female parent represents the hopelessness of the Old World. She was born to a comparatively affluent household, had a happy childhood and grew up to be a beautiful, spirited and happy immature adult female. But the felicity was non meant to last because her male parent decided to get married her off at the age of 14. She of course had no voice in the determination and was married to a adult male who her male parent perceived to be most educated. The “educated man” turned out to be good merely for blowing her father’s money, begeting four girls and go forthing the load of raising them wholly on her shoulders. On top of that he had an audaciousness to fault her for all his problems and to learn her his useless “wisdom” . In the terminal, the female parent from a spirited immature beauty, who loved to dance cozachek, became an old burnout with a dead psyche, grey unhealthy face, and exanimate eyes, that projected nil but unhappiness and hopelessness. The calamity of her life was that there was nil she could make about it, there was no manner out.

Her kids, nevertheless, did hold a manner out. They could arise ; they could travel against their male parent & # 8217 ; s will, acquire an instruction and go self-sufficing and independent. American society would accept it and that together with other things was the promise of the New World. The 2nd coevals of emigres: Sarah and her sisters represent the new picks that Eastern European Jews had in America. Unlike their female parent, they could take to travel different ways. The picks were non easy. They required strength, bravery, finding and staying power but however they were existent.

The simplest pick was to transport on the parents & # 8217 ; traditions, obey them and to endure through life much like the female parent. That & # 8217 ; s the pick that Sarah & # 8217 ; s sister Bessie took. She did non happen an interior strength to arise against parents and injure up married to Zalmond, the fish-peddler, who was an ugly old adult male with a batch of kids, and who suffered, like many other lower East Siders, from poorness, fiscal insecurity, and the battle to go person in the new state. Poor Bessie served to his male parent until she was 30, suffered humiliation of his preaches and at the terminal could non happen bravery to run off. She merely went from one servitude to another, even more rough. Alternatively of an old maestro, her male parent, she received a new one, Zalmond.

Mashah has made a similar pick merely was a little more lucky. She did hold to set up with bad intervention from her defrauder hubby but at least he was immature and she did non hold to raise stepchildren. Fania faired even better. She went off to California. Though feeling really lonely with her businessman-gambler hubby, she at least broke out of poorness.

Sarah makes a radically new pick. She realizes that she can arise and win, and she has strong will to make it. The pick to arise and to acquire instruction was a wholly new pick offered by the New World. The pick was far from easy. She suffered from hungriness, poorness, disaffection, and humiliation of the ghetto but her dreams kept her spirit alive and kept her traveling. College experience was besides non easy. She was different from other pupils because she was hapless, apparent looking, and likely because she was Judaic. So she struggled to suit in. She ne’er did and suffered a great trade from solitariness. Sarah & # 8217 ; s experience, I think, is slightly typical for a determined emigre who chooses non to give up, to be strong, and to win. Her experience and represents the battle and aspiration of the immature Jews from the lower East Side, who in the mid-twentiess received instruction and became successful members of American society. Her experience represents the aspiration of the Jews who went Hollywood and established a whole new industry, the Jews who came from hapless uneducated households and became attorneies, physicians, and business communities.

Not every Young Jew became successful through an instruction. Many became economically successful by doing a speedy luck through legal, slightly legal and frequently clearly illegal ventures. Fania & # 8217 ; s hubby and Max Goldstein represent that portion of immature Jewish community. Those immature work forces substituted instruction with absolute aggressive thrust, firing motive, speedy humor, and frequently willingness to interrupt the jurisprudence if it was profitable. As Max Goldstein said, & # 8220 ; ? It & # 8217 ; s money that makes the wheels go unit of ammunition. With my money I can hold college alumnuss working for me? I can engage them and fire them. And they, with all their instruction, are under my pess, merely because I got the money. & # 8221 ;

Through the lives of different characters the writer tells about battles and forfeits that any emigres have to confront when they come to a new state and seek to acquire on their pess. The first coevals normally additions the least, because older people already have profoundly rooted cultural traditions and linguistic communication barrier that do non allow them to absorb and to experience to the full at place in the new topographic point. Just like Sarah & # 8217 ; s parents in & # 8220 ; Bread Givers & # 8221 ; the bulk of first coevals older emigres that I know experience slightly anomic and disadvantaged in America. Many of them were na? ve and thought that America was a Golden Amadina where & # 8220 ; money grows on the trees & # 8221 ; . Many were intelligent plenty to recognize that they were traveling to a tough land of chances where they would hold to contend and fight for a topographic point under the Sun. But those who were realistic came here anyhow, because they hoped for a better hereafter for their kids who could to the full profit from new chances, cultural equality, and democracy that the New World had to offer.


& # 8220 ; Bread Givers & # 8221 ; by Anzia Yezierska

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