Bread givers Essay

1941 Words 8 Pages
     In Anzia Yezierska’s novel entitled Bread Givers, there is an apparent conflict between Reb Smolinsky, a devout Orthodox rabbi of the Old World, and his daughter Sara who yearns to associate and belong to the New World. Throughout the story, one learns about the hardships of living in poverty, the unjust treatment of women, and the growth of a very strong willed and determined young woman—Sara Smolinsky.
     After leaving Poland to venture out into the New World of America, the Smolinsky family endured impoverished lifestyles and countless hardships. For example, After an incident between Reb and the landlady (which made Reb revered), boarders began to occupy the Smolinsky family’s
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As the story progresses, money is always an issue when it comes to the Smolinsky family. They are always worried about how to make money through various low paying jobs, keeping up with the rent, and marrying off the sisters to men that can support them. In a way, one might deem their family as dysfunctional. In my opinion, they were just doing everything they could to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. It is evident that their family had gone through many obstacles just to merely stay alive. Although they often fought over issues such as throwing away potato peels, or Masha’s severe self-involvement in her looks over her family, they still “functioned” as a family nonetheless, supporting each other as they all go through the same hardships.
     The outlooks on life between Sara, who was of the New World and Reb, who was of the Old World, clashed throughout the story. Reb is too engulfed in his Torah to realize the pain the women in his life were going through while he completely focused all of his time and energy into his religion while basking in his belief that men are superior to women. No one was allowed to enter Reb’s room full of holy books, and the sisters knew “that if God had given Mother a son, Father would have permitted a man child to share with him his best room in the house” (9). In Reb’s eyes, everything magnificent and great seems to only belong to