Nathan Schultz Blog #4

The book Bread Givers is effectively the clash of orthodoxy with the contemporary life. Anzia Yezierska drawing from her own experience of being a Jewish immigrant to American and trying to find her footing on what it means to be American or how to become America. This with struggle what to keep in her orthodox or home life and what to adopt in the new land is what this book struggles with. In the main story of the book, the main character Sara Smolinsky at the age of ten has to navigate the world she lives in this coming of age story. Registering the fundamental life of the father of the household in religious poverty and supported by the women to allow him to focus on those regions studies compared to what life in America is like. Events like her sister meeting and falling in love with people who the family did not pick, a move alone that breaks with tradition. Even one of them who was rich and could even them out of poverty, the father rejects and forbid them from seeing each other. Through this changing to the new world, Sara decides to become a teacher to evaluate herself out of poverty and to live a decent independent life. Marking her break with her family by rejecting marriage to focus on her study even to the point that she wins an essay contest. This is the drastic contrast with her more transitional life she would have lived if she was back home, as she would be required to marry someone picked by the family. What she does by living her life is choosing to live in the contemporary world no and not the old. But she still holds on to her family and does not abandon them. Eventually supporting her father even though what he did for the family bring them lower into poverty and being the roots of many issues for the family. This story shares what it was like for these early immigrants in America. The strange choice to stay what was old or to adopt the new is a question all of these people had to face. I think of a Family of mine who immigrated from German in the 1880s though not Jewish I still think about how they had to abandon their German culture to assimilate to the new land. This book highlights what it must have been like form someone to go through that.

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