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Beyond the Apparent Meaning - Research Paper Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Moral Obligation in Malamud’s Short Stories Bernard Malamud proves his prowess in addressing Jewish issue each time he writes an additional short story. The magic barrel stands out among the rest of his stories and connects the reader to the purposed motif…
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Beyond the Apparent Meaning
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Download file to see previous pages Close and keen analysis of his works reveals the how the author builds the theme in the story. This paper will highlight the how the author develops the theme of moral obligation in the story ‘Magic Barrel’ and others. The ‘magic barrel’ is a fascinating literary piece that has received a lot of attention from literature scholars. The story centers on the Leo’s search for a bride, an assignment that he considers himself unable to handle and designates it tom Salzman, who specializes in matchmaking. The story highlights why Leo must embark on searching for a potential bride. Apparently, he had spent most of his years in rabbinical studies and having a wife at that juncture had the potential of improving his chances as a rabbi. At the time, a rabbi without a wife hardly found a congregation to shepherd. At twenty-seven, he realized that he urgently needed a bride but lacked the capacity to court one for himself because he had spent the preceding years concentrating on his studies and never found time to develop any social skills. These are the reasons that made him seek for the assistance of the matchmaker. The story progresses to describe the process that followed in the search for a bride. It becomes evident that Leo Finkle embarked on the venture because, it was an obligation for him to have wife, as a Jewish scholar. Although his initial motivation was entirely being able to meet the moral obligation required by Judaism, it turned out to mean much more. A rabbi had to have a wife prior to ordination, a factor that placed him in an appropriate position for him to understand the marriage institution complexities because he would have to give others counsel on such matters. Consequently, being bachelor placed a barrier for some potential rabbis because it proved them incapable of managing a congregation. Malamud uses Leo as reflection of religious moral obligations in the Jewish community. The zealous search that Leo indulges in reveals the depth and criticality of moral obligation. As Salzman made suggestions of potential brides for Leo, it became evident that his moral obligations influenced his decisions and opinions of the potential brides. He had moral standings that served to determine the would-be bride. In this context, Leo was acting in accordance to the Jewish law (Avery190). Having studied law for a long time, Korah laws defined his moral standings. As Malamud developed the story, he introduces a new perspective of moral obligation. As Leo Finkle absorbed himself in the search of a potential bride, he realized that he lacked the central value that defined an individual’s moral values. Although he strived to fulfill the religious moral obligations, he recognized that love for God had not moved him to theological law. In essence, love for God appeared to him as higher authority. Although being a rabbi involved helping others out of love, he lacked love for God and fellow humans. He recognized his need for love and resolved to build the important attribute that would help him serve effectively. He understood the emptiness that surrounded a rabbi who lacked understanding of love. Upon realization of the fact that he needed love, he woke up to the reality that love was a stronger moral obligation (Malamud 167). In addition, Malamud used the opinion of Salzman to emphasize the value of adhering to moral obligations. As a matchmaker, he handled Leo’s case with a different approach. He intended to find him a bride that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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