English Bread Givers Paper Ouline

English Bread Givers Paper Ouline - Novak 1 Katherine Novak...

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Novak 1 Katherine Novak English Rhetoric II Dr. Siegmund 19 th February 2010 “Title” Cultural conflicts that result from moving from repressed beliefs to independence. Cultural vs. Generational conflict Failed Expectations Immigrants expectations of America Combination of Textual Explication and Social Exploration. How Yezierska shows the struggle that generations face when traveling to a new country through the three divided sections of Bred Givers. The Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska’s, illustrates the complicated struggle that immigrants face when moving to a new country searching for success. Immigrants are forced to incorporate their previous culture with their new environment. Yeizierska’s main character, Sara Smolinsky, travels to the United States from Russia to escape anti- Semitic murders in the early 1920s. Sara’s father, Reb, refers to himself as a holy man and devotes his life to continuing his religious studies. While moving to the United States he aims to continue their previous Russian customs not taking into consideration the new freedom America holds. The Smolinskys move to the Lower East Side, New York, where Sara is faced with the dilemma of either living her life as an American or following her father’s advice of maintaining their Jewish customs. Although traditional Jewish ideology is forced upon Sara Smolinsky since childhood, she ultimately chooses
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Novak 2 to embrace American culture and attempt to seek an independent lifestyle free from her father. Sara is introduced to the reader at the beginning of Bread Givers as a stubborn daughter who takes her fate into her own hands to ultimately find success as a school teacher. Although some might categorize Sara’s actions throughout the novel as selfish, I believe she is trying to break free from the cultural and gender constrains that her faith sanctions her to. Sara Smolinsky’s journey throughout Bread Givers is separated into three separate books, Hester Street, Between Two Worlds, and The New World where the spaces she occupies reflects the transformation her inner character endures to gain its autonomy. Sara battles throughout “Living on Hester Street” with the idea of pursuing her desire for independence contradicting the traditional Jewish beliefs of her father. The Smolinsky family consisting of Sara, her parents, and her three sisters live in a one- bedroom apartment and can barely afford food to survive. Their apartment is unclean and constricting with the one nice room belonging to their father, Reb. His room is the place of his worship therefore making it inaccessible to his wife and daughters due to their gender. Reb uses his scholarly title and need to study the Torah as an excuse why he can’t work. He morphs verses from the Torah to transform his daughters into his subjects. Sara was raised hearing, “Heaven and the next world were only for men… Women had no brains for the study of God's Torah, but they could be the servants of men who studied the Torah” (Yezierska 9). Disagreeing with her father’s religious ideals Sara
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English Bread Givers Paper Ouline - Novak 1 Katherine Novak...

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