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Unformatted text preview: It is within the borders of this changing social context that the Jews of The Assistant , especially the Bober family, steer their precarious way, though it is indeed their character traits that shape their destiny and give them their frequently appealing (though somewhat bumbling) characteristics. Anti- Semitism is on a fairly small scale because there are few Jews in the neighborhood, but one senses a delicately ritualized distancing between Jew and Italian, and an identification of German, Irish, Norwegian, and Swedish as somehow to be suspected but, in one's deeper soul, to receive recognition as fellow humans. Malamud also makes subtle use of the interplay between the Bobers, the Karps, and the Pearls to show ordinary human variations among Jews and to show that the most meaningful bonds and trust do not follow ethnic lines one of the major things that Frank Alpine...
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- Fall '08
- The Assistant