Bread givers paper

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Philippos Padouvas USSO 101 Prof. Forsythe Bread Givers Paper Anzia Yezierska’s novel and semi-autobiographical book, Bread Givers is a fantastic look into the lives of the Smolinsky’s, a family of Polish-Jewish immigrants living in New York. The story follows Reb Smolinsky, the father of four daughters and a man who does not work but instead studies and preaches the word of the Torah, Shennah, the mother of four daughters named Bessie, Mashah, Fania, and Sara. The book is narrated by the youngest daughter Sara Smolinsky, whose point of view offers insight into the struggles of being an immigrant family, weighed down by the burdens of poverty, in addition to the every day occurrences within a family’s household, such as watching your older sisters grow up and marry, your parents fighting with each other and criticizing you, as well as countless other events that are commonly experienced in the journey that is life and growing up. The book begins with Sara at the young age of ten years old. Sara portrays her father as a strict and religious man, who runs the family almost as a dictator would. At one point in the novel, Sara even goes as far as to say her father is ‘more terrible than the Tsar of Russia.’ We see Reb’s overbearing control over each family member through his infallible disapproval of the men each sister brings home. Whether it is for religious or monetary reasons, Reb manages to find some reason to dislike each one of the men with whom the sisters fall in love. In a series of sad events, we witness Reb disapprove of each man of the house in a very controlling way. Reb takes matters into his own hands and plays the role of a matchmaker, selecting men of his choice for his daughters. Although Reb believes his judgeme... ... middle of paper ... ...hem, Hugo seems delighted by the idea. And so through Sara’s education and self-improvement, she finds real love, love that is not only right for her but also her family. I find the end of this novel very interesting due to the fact that Sara ends up with her father back in her life, even after running away from him. Sara admits that she cannot escape her family; she states ‘it would be like a tree trying to escape its roots.’ This novel not only shows the reader what it is to constantly think about money and the lack thereof, but also puts us face to face with many of the inevitabilities of life, such as growing up, growing old, getting sick, death, doubting ones self, attaining our goals, sometimes failing, but staying strong through it all, and taking control of the things that we can control in our lives while accepting the things that we have no control over.
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