Literature Study GuidesBread GiversBook 3 Chapter 17 Summary

Bread Givers | Study Guide

Anzia Yezierska

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Bread Givers | Book 3, Chapter 17 : The New World (My Honeymoon with Myself) | Summary



With a college degree and $1,000 in her pocket, Sara Smolinsky returns to New York. She is able to take a Pullman train with a proper sleeping car and have dinner in the dining car for the first time. Upon arriving in New York, Sara goes straight to Fifth Avenue and buys an expensive but simple tailored suit. Then she goes in search of an apartment to rent and has a completely different experience from her previous apartment hunt. Sara secures a "sunny, airy room," the complete opposite of the dark hole in which she once lived.


Chapter 17 is a triumphant chapter for Sara. She returns to the streets of New York with a completely different perspective and, thanks to the essay contest, ample funds to purchase the simple things she's always wanted. Sara doesn't spend her money wildly or buy expensive things that she doesn't need, but she takes great pleasure in purchasing a few simple, high-quality things. She rents a room in the same way, choosing the type of place that is the complete opposite of her previous accommodations but not something fancy or rich. Sara revels in cleanliness and simplicity rather than riches and decorations. This is a crucial trait of her character, shaped both by her upbringing but also by her personality. Her family all lived in the same conditions that she did but would have dealt with $1,000 in a very different manner from Sara. Sara sets up her new life in New York the way she has dreamed about it, and she is poised to begin her job a new and very decisive woman capable of finding a new identity.

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