My Name Is Asher Lev

analytical Essay
2478 words
2478 words

Asher Lev Essay: Minor characters are central to our understanding of any text. Analyse their significance in My Name Is Asher Lev.

Central to our understanding of “My name is Asher Lev” by Chaim Potok, is the dynamics of Asher’s relationship with different minor characters involved. Each minor character such as Yudel Krinsky, Uncle Yitzchok, the Rebbe, and Jacob Kahn each help Asher in a different way allowing the reader to interpret the text more thoroughly. Their guidance to the antagonist creates a vivid image inside the reader’s mind of the type of character and their importance to our understanding of the text. Each minor character listed has a deep impact on the resolution of Asher Lev

Yudel Krinsky is a Russian Jew from Siberia, in Russia. When he arrives in Brooklyn he is very grateful towards Asher’s father. “Did you know Asher that your father is an angel of God?” he says. When Asher first meets Yudel Krinsky his curiosity about Serbia and Yudel Krinsky begins. This curiosity soon makes him ask more and more questions about Yudel. “We saw a Jew from Russia,” he says to Mrs. Rackover. When asked about Siberia Mrs. Rackover replies, “What is Siberia? It is a land like the inside of this refrigerator. It is a land of ice and darkness where the Russian government sends people it hates. What is Siberia? No-one should know of it.” This gives a good impression to the reader the torment and struggle Yudel must have felt when living in Siberia. Asher of course does not view this information lightly and wishes to seek more answers about Yudel and Russian Jews. “The son of Reb Aryeh Lev,” is the name Asher is referred to during the beginning journeys of to Yudel’s store. It is important to note he is called the son of Aryeh Lev because they don’t really know each other but later called ‘Asher’. On the first encounter Asher does not ask Yudel any questions. On the second encounter though Asher begins to ask Yudel questions relating to the news in Russia and the relationship between Yudel and Asher begins to bloom like a rose bud.

On the next encounters to Yudel’s store, Yudel starts addressing Asher as ‘Asher’ and not ‘the son of Aryeh Lev’. Asher seems almost attracted to the store and is mesmerized by the metal glass showcase of oils and paints. When Asher steals the oils because he can’t afford them, Yudel starts nurturi...

... middle of paper ...

...en’t for Jacob’s significant contribution by offering Asher help and criticism Asher would have never prospered as a great painter.

Throughout the text “My name is Asher Lev” by Chaim Potok, minor characters of Jacob Kahn, the Rebbe, Uncle Yitzchok and Yudel Krinsky are central to our understanding of the text. Each character plays a significant part in the artistic progress of Asher Lev and allows him to reach a level of artistic talent at a young age. Their description and techniques used to describe them help the reader interpret the text thoroughly as they have an understanding of the type of character. Each minor character is as vital as the other as without one character Asher may not have been able to accomplish his great feats. Their contributions to Asher through either materials or advice are essential for Asher to establish himself as a great painter. Each character’s actions helping Asher succeed and also attributes to the tension created between themselves and Aryeh Lev which eventually results in the downfall of the Lev household. The minor characters are in essence the key to our understanding as each evaluates Asher’s feelings, emotions, and frustrations of art.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how yudel krinsky is a russian jew from siberia, in russia, who is grateful towards asher's father.
  • Analyzes how yudel addresses asher as ‘asher’ and not ‘the son of aryeh lev’.
  • Analyzes how chaim potok's first technique of imagery is used to describe yudel as short and thin, with large bulging eyes, beaklike nose, and pinched wrinkled features.
  • Analyzes how uncle yitzchok has a dynamic and significant role in the final outcome of the text, "my name is asher lev."
  • Analyzes how uncle yitzchok offers asher a place to stay in his house, nurturing her talent and allowing her to grow artistically.
  • Analyzes how the rebbe in "my name is asher lev" is the leader and spiritual adviser to the community of hasidic jews.
  • Analyzes how the rebbe wishes to nurture asher's talent by providing him guidance and insight. he understands that his ability to learn french and russian will prosper and grow in foreign countries where the jewish teachings are not widely known throughout.
  • Analyzes how the rebbe is an intelligent man through spoken word from other characters. jacob kahn tells asher that he prefers to take a chance with him.
  • Narrates how jacob kahn turns asher lev, the observant jew from brooklyn ny, into "asher the painter."
  • Analyzes how asher views jacob kahn as a man who has broken free from orthodox judaism and is inspired by his views and values of hasidic jews.
  • Analyzes how the minor characters in chaim potok's "my name is asher lev" are central to our understanding of the text.
  • Analyzes the significance of minor characters in chaim potok's "my name is asher lev." each minor character helps the reader interpret the text more thoroughly.
Get Access