Analysis Of The Book ' Bread Givers ' Essay

1702 Words Nov 15th, 2015 null Page
Bread Givers is a novel about a Russian Jewish immigrant family living in a tenement on Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1920s. The novel is told from the perspective of Sara Smolinsky, the youngest daughter of Reb and Shenah Smolinsy, and her three older sisters, Bessie, Fania, and Mashah and focuses on the family’s struggle to survive and assimilate in America. The novel also examines the concept of hegemonic masculinity as Reb Smolinsky uses Jewish scripture to justify his subservient treatment of his wife and daughters. The bread giver according to the novel is a man who provides for his family; however Reb relies on his daughters to find employment so that he is free to study to Torah. As the book progresses we learn about the family’s struggle to survive and how the lives of the daughters are manipulated by the father. Sara’s will for independence gives her the strength to defy her father and make a life of her choosing.

• What can we learn about the struggle to become "American" in the 1920s from the book?

On May 19, 1921 the United States Congress passed an “immigration quota” law to limit the number of immigrants coming into the United States. The law primarily focused on restricting immigration from Southern and Eastern European countries. People from these countries were looked upon as undesirable, mostly due to lack of understanding of their cultures and their impoverished living conditions. The vast number of immigrants lived in squalor in the cities of…

Related Documents