Literary Analysis Of Bernard Mallamud's The First Seven Years

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A Glimpse of the Mid-1900s’ Worldview No! He would not believe it—how impossible! Feld, the father of his only child, nineteen-year-old Miriam, discovered that his employee, Sobel, had all along loved Miriam. Her father had hoped strongly that she would either go to college or marry a man higher in the social class—not an uneducated employee of a shoemaker. Bernard Malamud’s “The First Seven Years” takes place in the mid-1900s. In this story, Feld tried to match up a college boy and Miriam together. Unfortunately for him, his plan failed. Later on in the story, Miriam’s father talked with Sobel and learned his intentions with Miriam. Reluctantly, Feld made a marriage agreement with Sobel. Malamud, however, unveils more to his readers than a simple love …show more content…
In this Bible story, Jacob wishes to marry Laban’s daughter Rachel; however, Laban tells Jacob he must work for him seven years before marrying Rachel. Similarly, as Sobel had worked five years for Feld, secretly hoping his boss would in return give his daughter in marriage, Feld made Sobel work two additional years, saying, “...[Miriam] is too young to get married. Don’t ask her for two years more, till she is twenty-one, then you can talk to her” (Malamud 478). Feld would allow Sobel to marry Miriam after another two years, making a total of seven years of work. As a result, the story alludes to Jacob and Laban. Furthermore, Malamud foreshadows the ending of his story through the story’s title, “The First Seven Years.” After Jacob finished his seven years’ work for Laban, Laban tricked him, resulting with Jacob working another seven years. Because of this, “The First Seven Years” places an impression on readers that Feld will either change his mind or else trick Sobel into working an additional seven years. Using the Biblical allusion throughout the story, Malamud creates a key theme with his short story’s

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