Unformatted text preview: The Pearl family also stands in sharp contrast to the Bobers. Sam's luck in winning money on horse races shows a kind of shrewdness that is foreign to a straightforward person like Morris; in addition, Sam's luck at gambling has enabled him to send Nat through college, while Helen Bober can struggle through only a few evening classes. It is no surprise that Morris and Sam have little to say to each other, and later in the novel we will see how little Helen and Betty Pearl have to talk about to one another. These families take a small comfort in sharing a Jewish identity, but this sharing holds little promise for any of them and it increases Helen's discomfort because it is one reason for Nat's and Louis' interest in her. These contrasts contribute to the development of Malamud's humanism, his view that values are not unique to certain ethnic groups and that ethnic mutuality does not...
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- Fall '08