Essay on Asher Lev and The Window

928 WordsNov 2, 20134 Pages
Looking Beyond the Glass Could humiliation and pain come from something as simple as a glass in a wooden frame? Throughout the novel, My Name Is Asher Lev by Chiam Potok, much of inner characters are revealed through the symbol of the window. The mother, the father, and Asher all face many struggles and the use of the window helps one to understand them. To begin with, the mother, Rivkeh, is shown a great deal by the window. Potok writes, “About an hour after supper, it began to snow heavily. My mother and I stood at the living-room window, watching for my father. ‘I hate this,’ my mother murmured, staring out the window” (79-80). This expresses the worry that she has for her husband, Aryeh, and his journey back home. For example, the…show more content…
The father’s troubles are also shown through the symbol of the window. Aryeh spends a great deal of time traveling for the Rebbe. In book one, “He [goes] to the window and stood gazing out at the busy parkway. He paced the floor. He [seems] caged. He saw me looking at him, ‘I’m not made for desks, Asher.’ He rubbed the side of his face, ‘I should be there, not here’” (26-27). This shows how the window is a barrier for his father. Aryeh thinks that he should not be behind it, but instead, out helping people and continuing to travel for the Rebbe. Also in book one, Potok writes, “He stood looking through the window at the street outside, quietly singing his father’s melody… He held his hands to both sides of his head. Standing there, with the room in shadows and his faintly illumined features reflected in the window that looked out onto the dark street…” (15). As well as a barrier, the window also serves as a passage way to the master of the universe. To show the passage way again, Potok says, “He was standing in front of the window chanting softly from the Book of Psalms” (26). For the father, the window is ultimately a way out of the apartment into the religious world. Many of Asher’s characteristics are exposed through the window as well. When Asher is on the train with Jacob Kahn, he sees his reflection in the window. He tells that, “I spent the rest of the journey looking at my reflection in that dark window of the

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