Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierskia

1481 Words6 Pages
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.

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