The Magic Barrel And The German Refugee

Improved Essays
Malamud enjoyed showing that he was Jewish in his writings, but this was for the sake of his nationality and interest in his writings. Malamud used his Jewish background, because he wanted people to know who he was, and wanted people to know that Jewish people are what add drama to stories. The short stories “the Magic Barrel” and “The German Refugee” displays Bernard Malamud 's Jewish culture and background through characters and other parts in the story. According to Bernard Malamud’s the “Magic Barrel”, “Not long ago there lived in uptown New York, in a small, almost meager room, through crowded books, Leo Finkle, a rabbinical student in the Yeshivah University. Finkle after six years of study, was to be ordained in June.” (Malamud) This …show more content…
Malamud never understood Judaism or what life was like in Israel, and so western ideas came more naturally to Malamud than the Jewish culture. His writings were influenced by New York intellectuals who filled his mind with western ideas. The short story “the Magic Barrel" displays Bernard Malamud’s western world influence. Malamud showed how much he did not believe or understand Judaism in his writings. According to Bernard Malamud’s the “Magic Barrel”, “I am not,” he said gravely, a talented religious person. And in seeking words to go on found himself possessed by shame and fear. I think, he said in a strained manner, that I came to God not because I love him, but because I did not.” (Malamud) This shows that Malamud embraced Western ideas for he did not seek God. Malamud is only trying to convey what he really believes through Leo Finkle his Jewish protagonist. Malamud shows that he is not sure exactly what he believes. According to Bernard Malamud, “Or perhaps it went the other way, that he did not love God so well as he might, because he had not loved man.” (Malamud) This shows that Malamud is confused about what he believes, because he is not sure of the reason for why he does not believe in God. This shows that Malamud was thinking away from God and towards Western ideas. Malamud even shows that he thinks his writing is more important than God. According to Malamud, “He seriously considered leaving the Yeshiva, although he was deeply troubled at the thought of the loss of all his years of study-saw them like pages torn from a book, strewn over the city-and at the devastating effect of this decision upon his parents.” (Malamud)This illustrates that Malamud wants to stop pursuing God, and keep pursuing his writing. He is trying to show readers what is important to him in life, which is pursuing his dream

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