"If you were a genius in mathematics, I would understand. If you were a genius in writing, I would also understand. If you were a genius in Gemorra, I would certainly understand. But a genius in drawing is foolishness, and I will not let it interfere with our lives. Do you understand me, Asher?" (Potok 136). The struggle begins for young Asher Lev, a talented artist who tries to convince his father and the rest of his family of his artistic ability, when his father refuses to recognize his talent. Set in a tightly knitted Jewish community in Brooklyn, Chaim Potok successfully depicted a young boy torn between his orthodox Jewish tradition and his passion for art in his best seller My Name is Asher Lev. Asher Lev knew from a young age that he was destined to draw. Unfortunately, his friends and family simply discarded his gift as foolishness or mere childishness. His struggles were so great that he became a virtual outcast. The cost of being an artist was so immense as to affect the life of Asher Lev in profound ways.
In the beginning, Asher's family saw his talent as a hindrance because they fear that he might break the Jewish tradition that included traveling for the Rebbe. As Reb Aryeh Lev's only son, people expected Asher to continue his father's work. When Asher's talent began to emerge, they saw it as a rival to their Jewish tradition. Asher was never interested to travel for the Rebbe. His art was his world and anything outside that world was dust. Therefore, Asher struggled to keep his gift amidst cries of frustration from his family members and friends.
Reb Aryeh Lev, his father, becomes Asher's main antagonist. Asher's father expressed his disgust by calling Asher...
... middle of paper ...
...ks almost killed him, he survived long enough to paint his "Where do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?", one of his masterpieces. Gaugain also hated the missionaries which came to Tahiti to clean it up and later moved to the Marquesas Islands. These are some examples of struggles famous artists endured for the sake of their art. Life was never easy for these renowned artists but they persevered and in the end it did pay off to them and to the world of art. Although Asher Lev's struggles may seem many, his perseverance did pay off and his art was indeed worth it.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Abramson, Edward A. Chaim Potok. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1986. 2-59.
Merkin, Daphne. "Why Potok is Popular". Contempoary Literary Criticism. Vol. 2. Feb, 1976. 321-322.
Potok, Chaim. My Name is Asher Lev. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1972.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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.... [tags: essays research papers]
2478 words (7.1 pages)
- Assimilation and the American Jew in Potok’s The Chosen, My name is Asher Lev, In the Beginning, and The Book of Lights. America has always been a country of immigrants, since it was first settled by Europeans over five hundred years ago. Like any country with a considerable immigrant population, American has always faced the problem of assimilation. Because America was founded and settled by immigrants, her culture is a combination of the cultures of other countries. Should these immigrants isolate themselves from the mainstream American culture, or should they sacrifice the culture of their homelands for the benefits American culture has to offer? Judaism in particular has had to... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
1672 words (4.8 pages)
- Extremes Collide In My Name Is Asher Lev By Chaim Potok In My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok writes about a young boy in a Landover Hasidic community in Brooklyn who is an excellent artist. Asher travels through childhood hanging onto his art, but when his art interferes with his religious studies, Asher's two worlds of art and Torah collide. Potok deliberately chooses the extreme icons and symbols of secular life, such as the world of art, on the one hand, and of Judaism, Hasidim, and the Rebbe, on the other hand, to intensify the contrast between them, because he wants to mold the characters into visions he has, and to show how different the two worlds are and how they conflict and... [tags: Potok Asher Lev]
1138 words (3.3 pages)
- The Struggle in My Name is Asher Lev and Naked Lunch Though most of the experiences and actions revealed in William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch directly contradict philosophies believed by the Jewish faith, there is a definite connection between My Name is Asher Lev and Naked Lunch. This connection lies is the narrators' artistic roles in society. Both Lev and Burroughs stray from the surrealistic aspect of their mediums: art and writing, respectively, and portray life as they see that it really is.... [tags: Asher Lev Naked Lunch Essays]
712 words (2 pages)
- "When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him." ---KARL A. MENNINGER By developing a relationship between two people who come from completely distinct worlds, Chaim Potok was able to instigate and investigate a profound and deeply moving story of true friendship and the importance of father-son interconnection through self-realization in the work of The Chosen by explicitly introducing... [tags: Chosen Chaim Potok]
1368 words (3.9 pages)
- “Asher Lev, an artist is a person first. He is an individual. If there is no person, there is no artist” (Chaim Potok). An individual with different characteristics has a different mindset, attitude, confidence and respect from those around them. In Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, Asher is a Ladover Hasid who grows up in a Hasidic community, who is deeply committed to his Jewish faith and finds difficulty between the expectations of his traditions and his gift. He is an individual with a broad mindset, who wants to do things inversely.... [tags: women studies, status]
1800 words (5.1 pages)
- My Name is Asher Lev I Comes Before “U” in the Alphabet and in Happiness Throughout life, one faces many responsibilities that could be taken upon; furthermore, sometimes one responsibility conflicts with another, causing a person to struggle to find which responsibility is more important in his life. In addition, for one to live his life in a manner that would make others content would be foolish, because this person would feel unsatisfied with his accomplishments and no one else would be completely pleased; It is impossible to make others completely happy, due to the fact that everyone would want and expect different things from this person.... [tags: Asher]
954 words (2.7 pages)
- Contributions to Society and its Effects in Capote's Cold Blood and Potok's My Name is Asher Lev Truman Capote’s characters, Perry Smith and Dick Hancock, used in one of his most famous works In Cold Blood, find ways in which their contributions to society, within their personal lives as well as in their surrounding community, leads them to a fatal state of regret, remorse and actuality, all of which were consequences caused by their very own actions and decisions. Chaim Potok, author of My Name is Asher Lev, creates a similar theme of his characters’ ways of contributing to society.... [tags: Potok Asher Lev Cold Blood Capote]
1616 words (4.6 pages)
- Comparative Analysis of My Name is Asher Lev, Naked Lunch and Animal Farm What do a junkie, Communists pigs, and a little Jewish boy have in common. No, this isnÕt an Anti-Semitic crack. In fact, the answer is really nothing. Then how would Naked Lunch, Animal Farm, and My Name is Asher Lev make a good comparative research paper. ThereÕs no magic involved really. To solve this perplexity one must think like Chaim Potok who said that "no feeling, no thought, and no sensibility cannot be tapped or explored and revealed" (Abramson 59).... [tags: comparison compare contrast]
2766 words (7.9 pages)
- Asher Lev's Crucifixion Paintings as an Act of Disrespect Towards His Parents Asher Lev paints against the values of his family and community. He disregards Jewish traditions and observance by pursuing his passion for art. His individuality has him disobeying the Rebbe, the mashphia, his mythic ancestor as well as his parents. Asher does not intend for his artwork to be harmful, but that they convey truths and feelings. Yet, the Brooklyn Crucifixions cause shame for his observant Jewish parents.... [tags: Asher Lev Paintings Art Crucifixion Essays]
1543 words (4.4 pages)
- The Change of Miss Brill in Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield
- The Role of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls
- Doubles in Fight Club and Cofer's The Other
- America Needs More Cloning
- Me And Miss Mandible - What Does it Mean?
- The Dangers of Conformity in Bartleby, the Scrivener and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings