Several changes have occurred since the 1920s in traditional family values and the family life. Research revealed several different findings among family values, the way things were done and are now done, and the different kinds of old and new world struggles.
In Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers, Sara and her father have different opinions of what the daughters' role should be. Sara believed that she should be able to choose what her life will be, because it is her life. She was assimilated to the new world in this sense. She felt that since she lived in America she should have the right to be free to chose her lifestyle and make it what she wanted. She believed that she should be able to keep some of her hard earned money for herself and that the father should get off his behind and work instead of reading the Torah all day long over and over. Her father believed that he should be able to chose what his daughters and wife did. He wanted them to work and give the money to the family. In the meantime he practiced the Torah. He felt that he should have all the good portions of the meal even though he did not work to provide the meal. This is an example of the new world VS. the old world. There is a definite generational tension over assimilation, into America and expectations are different for the father from that of the women in the family.
Sara's father also feels that he should get to pick the man that his daughters will marry. This is so old world, and Sara is not going to have it. She has watched her sisters who are so unhappy with the husbands that the father picked for them. Her father believes, "No girl can live without a father or a husband to look out for her," "It says in th...
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... point of view the story of her life and her experiences. She does a wonderful job of depecting the struggles that she had with her father and the desire to become independent. This book shows us an in depth description of the life of an immigrant and their struggles to fit in and be like all the others. She works through the hard times and makes her life what she wants and fulfills her goal. Sara inspires us by showing us that if we work hard enough we can overcome anything and meet the goals of our life.
Cowan, Neil M. and Cowan, Ruth Schwartz, Our Parents' Lives. New York: New York Press, 1989.
Kristeva, Julia, Strangers To Ourselves. New York: Addison-Wesley, 1991.
Yerkes, Robert M., Book Review Digest: Reviews Of 1925 Books. New York: H. W. Wilson Co., 1926.
Yezierska, Anzia, Bread Givers. New York: Persea Books, Inc., 1999.
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