The autobiographical tone of the novel ‘The Bread Givers written by Anzia Yezierska gives us an essence of patriarchy when the daughter of the Jewish-American family Sara Smolinsky values American traditions and believes in the concept of becoming self independent and in…
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Instances of such patriotism have been displayed throughout the story where the writer says,’ Traditional father searches for God through the Talmud and religious study’ (Yezeirska, 1925, xvi) specifying that Moses’ reading was confined only to reading Jewish sacred texts. Another instance where’ mother believed she might earn a place in the heaven by serving her husband well’ (Yezeirska, xvi) showed that the family was firm in traditional believes. Sara’s father’s attachment to Jewish culture has been depicted here as patriarchal characteristics.
Surrounded by the lives of his family, the patriarchal nature of the father has a powerful role to play in this novel. It gives a winning note to his values when his daughter’s lives are destroyed due to his religious values and this rigidity has also been noted where Moses, even in dying state refuses to live with Sara and Hugo. The story was written somewhere between 1920 and the society and culture of that phase has an impact on the story. Even before that in the 19th century during the colonial period in America we find the prevalence of the class system. The upper class denoted the aristocrat class who were owners of large plantations. During the 19th century slavery was also present in the society and the plantation owners usually owned large number of slaves and worked hard to achieve higher standards of living. Post colonization, the immigration of Jews to the New York City has been talked about in the story. More than a merge, there was a clash of the two cultures. More specifically a struggle between the old and the new world was clearly noticed. Jews of that period were very particular about their traditions and appeared to be conservative. The Jewish people restricted from interacting with people of different cultural background. This is depicted in the story. Where Sara Smolinsky is opening up to accept the new concept of self independence imposed in American culture, Moses remains about
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(The Bread Givers,the Smolinsky House Is Patriarchal in Nature Essay)
“The Bread Givers,the Smolinsky House Is Patriarchal in Nature Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1584580-the-bread-giversthe-smolinsky-house-is-patriarchal-in-nature.
The book describes a story of a small daughter Sara struggling to earn a living in the middle of poverty; clashing between the old religious values and those independent values held by the daughter. Studying religious books were more valued than the women’s comfort that were left struggling to feed the family .
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