A Battle With Self Identity Essay examples

782 Words Jun 11th, 2015 4 Pages
A Battle With Self Identity
In Goodbye, Columbus the protagonist Neil Klugman struggles to develop and preserve an identity of his inner self as well as his Jewish identity. Throughout the story he attempts to find a role for himself in society that seems fitting. As a young 23-year-old, open-minded man living in the 1950s American society, he distinguishes himself with a set of non-religious and rationalistic values that bring him into conflict with the world surrounding him. Representing the third generation of a Jewish immigrant group he has experienced great changes in his life. His living style is categorized by working or lower middle class and strongly influenced by traditional Jewish ethnic attitudes and customs practiced by his family. Jewish Identity and the battle in understanding and preserving its values emerge throughout other characters in Goodbye, Columbus and the additional 5 short stories as well.
Neil is presented with a variety of identities to adapt throughout the novel. These identities come from family life at home, religious beliefs and his place in the Jewish community, socio-economic status, his work at the library, as well from the criticizing members of Patimkin’s family and their household,. Neil tries to define himself in relation to all these situations yet he feels as though he can 't identify with them all at once. Out of all the situations Neil focuses on two extremes of his home life in Newark, and the home he has joined at of the…

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