Essay on Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierskia

Essay on Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierskia

Length: 1481 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

According to Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life, between 1880 and about World War I, the vast majority of Eastern European Jews and Southern Italians came to the United States populating neighborhoods in New York and the Lower East Side is the best example. One thing, which was common to the immigrant experience is that, all immigrants come to the United States as the “land of opportunity”. They come to America with different types of expectations that are conditioned by their origins and families. But every immigrant comes to America wanting to make himself/herself into a person, to be an individual and to become somebody. In this case, the author showed in Bread Givers, Sarah’s desire to make herself into something and bring something unique to America, which only she can bring. It is an effort to understand the immigrants, particularly Jewish immigrants, from a woman’s point of view. The book shows that it was a challenge for Jewish immigrant children, particularly females, on the account of the intensity of their family’s connections and obligations that was so critical for the immigrant communities. This was true for the immigrants who came to settle in the neighborhoods like the one Sarah and her family settled in.

Bread Givers is a book about Jewish heritage and culture. The plot is about the touching story of a young woman growing up, finding herself, trying to find her way to success, while dealing with day-by-day problems. It is about four daughters, their caring and gentle mother and their very bossy and tyrannical father. The father married them off, one by one to men that they did not really like. For the most part, these men turned out to be complete morons and self-cente...


... middle of paper ...


... her goal. Just like most first generation immigrants, the family went through dreadful poverty. Anzia Yezierska did an excellent job in describing what life was like for Sarah’s family, which was a sample of what life was like for immigrants. As an illustration, when Mashah, who was worked went out and bought herself a toothbrush and a small towel for thirty-cents so she can have her own towel. The rest of the family became horrified. It was like, how dare she spend thirty-cents on a toothbrush and towel, when the rest of the family is starving and they needed that money to buy food? The father supposes it is his absolute right to expect that the four daughters either will never leave home thereby supporting him forever or they would leave home and marry somebody rich, who will then support him forever. The women in the Smolinsky family were the breadwinners.




Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers

- Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers attacks several social norms of both her traditional Polish homeland and the American life her protagonist has come to know. Clearly autobiographical, Bread Givers boldly questions why certain social and religious traditions continue throughout the centuries without the slightest consideration for an individual's interests or desires. Sara's traditional Jewish upbringing exposed her to a life dominated by patriarchal control; when she arrived in New York to seek out the American Dream, she found that once again her gender would stand in the way of such desires....   [tags: Bread Givers Yezierska Essays]

Better Essays
1254 words (3.6 pages)

Anzia Yezierska’s Novel, Bread Givers Essay

- Anzia Yezierska’s 1925 novel Bread Givers ends with Sara Smolinsky’s realization that her father’s tyrannical behavior is the product of generations of tradition from which he is unable to escape. Despite her desire to embrace the New World she has just won her place in, she attempts to reconcile with her father and her Jewish heritage. The novel is about the tension inherent in trying to fit Old and New worlds together: Reb tries to make his Old World fit into the new, while Sara tries to make her New World fit into the Old....   [tags: Bread Givers]

Better Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers and Assimilation of Jews Essay

- Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers and Assimilation of Jews An entire chapter of Eric Liu’s memoir, The Accidental Asian, is founded on the supposition that Jews today serve as a metaphor for assimilation into American culture. According to Liu, this is due to the ease with which Jews have been able to assimilate. However, the progress that Jews have made in embracing and affecting America has been gradual rather than instantaneous, as evidenced by the character Sara Smolensky in Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers....   [tags: Anzia Yezierska Bread Givers Jews essays]

Better Essays
1293 words (3.7 pages)

Arranged Marriage in Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska Essay examples

- Arranged Marriages have been around since time can remember. An arranged marriage is a marital union between a man and a woman who were selected to be wedded together by a third party. Historically, arrange marriages were the main way to marry. In certain parts of the world, it is still the primary approach. There are two types of arrange marriages. The first is a traditional marriage where the children can, with strong objections, refuse to marry their soon to be spouse. In a forced marriage, the children have no say in the matter....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]

Better Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

Essay Bread Givers, Analysis of Sara

- ... “Sara’s independence is linked to her attitude toward values that come to be connected with her ethnic group, specifically through her father. It appears consistent that she would rebel at some point against what is outlined as the “norm”, and in this case as the “ethnic norm.” (Japtok) This quote represents Sara’s mind set when she had finally had enough of her father driving away customers from there store, and she knows they she can make something of her life. She tells her mother and father she is leaving to become a teacher, “A school teacher- I....   [tags: Anzia Yezierska novel analysis]

Better Essays
1585 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on Generational Differences in Yezierska’s Bread Givers

- Generational Differences in Yezierska’s Bread Givers       Anzia Yezierska’s most-taught novel, Bread Givers, "is an extensive observation of relationships in an immigrant family of early 20th century America" (Sample 1). Noticeably, one of the most fascinating qualities of Yezierska’s work is that, though most readers probably come from significantly different backgrounds than that of her characters, she writes in a manner that allows her stories to be discussed in contemporary terms, (Drucker 1) while simultaneously illustrating the immigrant experience....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]

Better Essays
3352 words (9.6 pages)

Freedom is Not Free in Bread Givers Essay

- Freedom is Not Free in Bread Givers       Anzia Yezierska in Bread Givers and "Children of Loneliness" explores the theme of reconciling assimilation to American culture and retaining her cultural heritage. "Richard F. Shepard asserted in the New York Times that Yezierska’s people…did not want to find themselves. They wanted to lose themselves and find America" (Gale Database 8). Rachel and Sara, the main characters, move ahead by employing the America motto of hard work will pay off. The problem for both is losing their Jewish identity in the process....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]

Better Essays
2199 words (6.3 pages)

Bread Givers Summary Paper

- Bread Givers The 1920s was a hard and painstaking era in American history. Many family's throughout New York lived in absolute poverty and saved week to week just to make enough to eat and pay the rent. Many Immigrants flooded the streets desperate for work while living conditions were harsh and many starved. This is just the case of the novel Bread Givers, written by Anzia Yezierska. In this story we follow Sarah Smolinsky, an ambiguous independent Jewish girl "trapped" by her religious traditions....   [tags: Anzia Yezierska]

Better Essays
1707 words (4.9 pages)

The Struggle in Bread Givers Essay

- The Struggle in Bread Givers       Several changes have occurred since the 1920s in traditional family values and the family life. Research revealed several different findings among family values, the way things were done and are now done, and the different kinds of old and new world struggles. In Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers, Sara and her father have different opinions of what the daughters' role should be. Sara believed that she should be able to choose what her life will be, because it is her life....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]

Better Essays
1384 words (4 pages)

Comparing Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers and Soap and Water Essay

- Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers and Soap and Water     In Anzia Yezierska's works Bread Givers and "Soap and Water", she uses similar aspects of the characters that portray her own life. Both of the stories resemble similarities of Yezierska's life and appear to be autobiographical to her personal experiences. The author portrays, in both the stories, a belief that the majority culture is "clean" while the minority culture is dirty. Sarah in Bread Givers and the narrator in "Soap and Water" each have a hunger that drive them in different directions: actual hunger for food, progress into society and a hunger for knowledge....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Better Essays
2224 words (6.4 pages)