Bread Givers

Bread Givers - Yacoub 1 Peter Yacoub Professor Menzing...

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Yacoub 1 Peter Yacoub Professor Menzing History 22 13 May 2007 Bread Givers Bread Givers is a story written by Anzia Yezierska about a young Jewish girl, Sara Smolinsky. The story takes place in New York City in the early 1900’s. Sara’s father, Reb Smolinsky, is a Rabbi who has dedicated his whole life to studying the Torah. Sara does not agree with her father’s strong Jewish beliefs and repudiates the Jewish teaching of the Torah, which states, “What’s a woman without a man? Less than nothing —a blotted-out existence” (Yezierska 205). Sara feels more content with the American culture; in an argument with her mother, Shena Smolinsky, Sara says, “I’m smart enough to look out for myself… In America, women don’t need men to boss them” (Yezierska 137). Sara is a young girl raised in the mainstream world and is sick of living in her parents’ orthodox “old world,” so she absconds to find a new life in New York at the age of seventeen; “I leaped back and dashed for the door. The Old World had struck its last on me” (Yezierska 138). After she leaves the house, Sara realizes how her, her mother and her three sisters were subjugated by her father. When Sara runs away she is expecting to move in with her sisters, but it did not work out. Later, she finds a room for rent. What she liked most about the room is that it has a door, “This door was life. It was air. The bottom starting-point of becoming a person” (Yezierska 159). She feels that the door will “shut out all the noises of the world” (Yezierska 159). After Sara settled in her new room, she got a job as an ironer. While
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Yacoub 2 Sara works as an ironer for ten hours a day, she also goes to school to pursue a career as a teacher; she takes two hours of classes and two hours of studying everyday. Sara is much different than her father; Sara’s outlook on having a successful life is only possible through hard work, while her father’s views is to become very wealthy while still dedicating his life to the Torah without working. Sara is so busy going to work while
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course HIST 22 taught by Professor Menzing during the Spring '08 term at Saddleback.

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Bread Givers - Yacoub 1 Peter Yacoub Professor Menzing...

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