The Conversion Of The Jews By Philip Roth

1434 Words6 Pages
In the short story, The Conversion of the Jews, Philip Roth discusses the constant oppressive behaviour that religious figures have, and the rebellious attitudes of the youth. Rabbi Binder is a one sided person who is never open to the views of others. He sees Ozzie Freedman, the questionable protagonist of the story, as his mission to enforce religion and to never allow free thought. Philip Roth points out the hypocrisy of religion in his short story, The Conversion of the Jews, where he shows underlying themes that explain the extreme actions people use to prove their religion never have any long lasting benefits or deep changes. Rabbi Binder oppresses Ozzie by not allowing free thought on religion. He enforces his views by making sure Ozzie cannot ask difficult questions in class, and possibly spread his ideas to his fellow classmates. In regards to Jesus, Rabbi Binder quickly stops Ozzie’s questions and generalizes that, “We don’t believe he is God (140).” As Ozzie continues to question the Rabbi’s beliefs, the Rabbi decides that he needs to set up a meeting with Ozzie and his mother regarding his disruptive behavior. When learning why Ozzie’s mother has to meet with the Rabbi, “She hit Ozzie across the face with her hand (143).” Rabbi Binder caused problems at home, and used Ozzie’s mother in a manipulative, violent way to stop Ozzie’s dangerous thinking. Violence begins when two parties have a disagreement, and each side believes that they are right. Believing that
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