Edna Ferber, Jewish American Feminist Essay

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Edna Ferber's childhood and career influences many of her works. She was born in 1885 and died in 1968. Growing up, she was taunted for being Jewish. Her family moved a great deal, so she was able to see a lot of the country. She eventually landed a job as a reporter, but faced a lot of criticism at the workplace for being a woman. When asked about her role model, Edna Ferber said, "My mother is of the iron age when things were not handed to people on velvet pads of ease-She had a zest for life and the ability to impart it on others. Her belief in the eternity of life has a nourishing effect on her and all those who come in contact with her. She is a wonderful woman" (Shapiro 15). Because of this, she bases most of her heroines on her…show more content…
Since she spent most of her life being taunted for being Jewish, this is to be expected. She frequently shows Jews to be smart, attractive, and/or successful. She mentions the mistreatment of Jews in nearly all of her novels. In Cimarron, the town Jew was running for mayor. But the wife of the other candidate gave a speech about the race where she declared, ?A Jew for mayor of Osage! They?ll be having an Indian mayor next. Mr. Wyatt?s folks are real Americans? (Ferber 218).
She writes about the mistreatment of Native Americans to a great extent in Cimarron. Sabra?s son was particularly fond of them and when arguing with his mother?s family said, ?Indians don?t fight white men anymore. They can?t. Their, uh, spirit is broken. they only fought in the first place because the white men took their buff?loes away from them, that they lived on and ate and traded the skins and that was all the had, and their land away from them? (Ferber 150). All of her novels are read as a celebration of Americana, when she is actually writing about unfair treatment of the underdog, such as the Jew, the Negro, the Indian, or the strength of the American woman, who would persevere and survive alone even when the man in her life deserted her. Both themes are deeply rooted in her own life? (Shapiro 9).
A more difficult theme to discern in Edna Ferber?s work is her view of love and

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