Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

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Family Ties
“We’re one family and we should stick together, just like the Rockefellers. In our own small way, I mean.” As boy living on St. Urbain Street in the ghetto of Montreal, Duddy Kravitz, the main character in Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, is budding in a society where people with wealth and power are highly respected. However, the complexity of a person’s character, like Duddy’s, is influenced immeasurably through his family. The main three people who manipulate Duddy, and also give insight into his character, are his grandfather Simcha Kravitz, his older brother Lennie Kravitz, and his Uncle Benjy.

Wealth is what Duddy is led to strive for by his grandfather. Simcha Kravitz is the sole person who has believed in Duddy his whole lifetime, when others just considered him an unintelligent troublemaker. He recognised something admirable in his grandson and gave him the advice that, “A man without land is nobody.” These few words create a drive in Duddy that shows the sometimes evil ways that Duddy will take to achieve his goal. Duddy will lie, cheat, and steal from even his best friends. An example of Duddy’s deceptiveness is illustrated by the way he treats Virgil just to make his grandfather proud in the long run. First he tells Virgil he will hire him but he needs to have a truck, fully knowing that Virgil has none. So Duddy tells Virgil he will give him the truck he got instead o...

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