Essay on Immigrant Reality Exposed in Bread Givers

:: 5 Works Cited
Length: 3301 words (9.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Immigrant Reality Exposed in Bread Givers  

    For thousands of years people have left their home country in search of a land of milk and honey. Immigrants today still equate the country they are immigrating to with the Promised Land or the land of milk and honey. While many times this Promised Land dream comes true, other times the reality is much different than the dream. Immigration is not always a perfect journey. There are many reasons why families immigrate and there are perception differences about immigration and the New World that create difficulties and often separate generations in the immigrating family. Anzia Yezierska creates an immigration story based on a Jewish family that is less than ideal. Yezierska’s text is a powerful example of the turmoil that is created in the family as a result of the conflict between the Old World and the New World.

The Smolinsky family in Bread Givers immigrates to the United States due to political strife. They actually leave Russia as an indirect result of the father’s refusal to serve in the army. His refusal is based on his religious beliefs. The mother, Shenah Smolinsky, explained the reason to Sara, the narrator, by saying, "The tsar of Russia [ …] wanted to tear your father away from his learning and make him a common soldier" (33). The family buys the father out of the army. Then due to the sudden death of Mrs. Smolinsky’s father, Mr. Smolinsky takes over his father-in-law’s business. Mr.Smolinsky’s business knowledge is hindered by his dedication to his religion and the business is forced to close. Thus, Mr. Smolinsky took to heart the American Dream, "And when everything was gone from us, then our only hope was to come to America, where Father thought things cost n...

... middle of paper ...

...ll. 1998.

He, Qiang Shan. "Chinese-American Literature." New Immigrant Literatures in the United States: A Sourcebook to Our Multicultural Literary Heritage. Ed. Alpana Sharma Knippling. WEstport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996. 44-65.

Krupnick, Mark.. "Jewish-American Literature." New Immigrant Literatures in the United States: A Sourcebook to Our Multicultural Literary Heritage. Ed. Alpana Sharma Knippling. WEstport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996. 295-308.

Pilcer, Sonia. "2G." Visions of America Personal Narratives from the Promised Land. Ed. Wesley Brown and Amy Ling. 4th ed. New York: Peresea Books, 1993. 201-206.

Yezierska, Anzia. Bread Givers. New York: Persea Books, 1999.

---. "Soap and Water." Imagining America Stories from the Promised Land. Ed. Wesley Brown and Amy Ling. 8th ed. New York: Peresea Books, 1991. 105-110.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers - Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers attacks several social norms of both her traditional Polish homeland and the American life her protagonist has come to know. Clearly autobiographical, Bread Givers boldly questions why certain social and religious traditions continue throughout the centuries without the slightest consideration for an individual's interests or desires. Sara's traditional Jewish upbringing exposed her to a life dominated by patriarchal control; when she arrived in New York to seek out the American Dream, she found that once again her gender would stand in the way of such desires....   [tags: Bread Givers Yezierska Essays] 1254 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Anzia Yezierska’s Novel, Bread Givers Essay - Anzia Yezierska’s 1925 novel Bread Givers ends with Sara Smolinsky’s realization that her father’s tyrannical behavior is the product of generations of tradition from which he is unable to escape. Despite her desire to embrace the New World she has just won her place in, she attempts to reconcile with her father and her Jewish heritage. The novel is about the tension inherent in trying to fit Old and New worlds together: Reb tries to make his Old World fit into the new, while Sara tries to make her New World fit into the Old....   [tags: Bread Givers]
:: 1 Works Cited
1051 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Arranged Marriage in Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska Essay examples - Arranged Marriages have been around since time can remember. An arranged marriage is a marital union between a man and a woman who were selected to be wedded together by a third party. Historically, arrange marriages were the main way to marry. In certain parts of the world, it is still the primary approach. There are two types of arrange marriages. The first is a traditional marriage where the children can, with strong objections, refuse to marry their soon to be spouse. In a forced marriage, the children have no say in the matter....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
776 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Freedom is Not Free in Bread Givers Essay - Freedom is Not Free in Bread Givers       Anzia Yezierska in Bread Givers and "Children of Loneliness" explores the theme of reconciling assimilation to American culture and retaining her cultural heritage. "Richard F. Shepard asserted in the New York Times that Yezierska’s people…did not want to find themselves. They wanted to lose themselves and find America" (Gale Database 8). Rachel and Sara, the main characters, move ahead by employing the America motto of hard work will pay off. The problem for both is losing their Jewish identity in the process....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
2199 words
(6.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Struggle in Bread Givers Essay - The Struggle in Bread Givers       Several changes have occurred since the 1920s in traditional family values and the family life. Research revealed several different findings among family values, the way things were done and are now done, and the different kinds of old and new world struggles. In Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers, Sara and her father have different opinions of what the daughters' role should be. Sara believed that she should be able to choose what her life will be, because it is her life....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1384 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Generational Differences in Yezierska’s Bread Givers - Generational Differences in Yezierska’s Bread Givers       Anzia Yezierska’s most-taught novel, Bread Givers, "is an extensive observation of relationships in an immigrant family of early 20th century America" (Sample 1). Noticeably, one of the most fascinating qualities of Yezierska’s work is that, though most readers probably come from significantly different backgrounds than that of her characters, she writes in a manner that allows her stories to be discussed in contemporary terms, (Drucker 1) while simultaneously illustrating the immigrant experience....   [tags: Bread Givers Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
3352 words
(9.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Bread Givers And Family Limitation Essay - In the great story of a young girls triumph over poverty, rejection and innumerable failures as a child, she will unfortunately never truly prosper as an adult in the world in which she lives. Our protagonist, Sara Smolinsky who is the youngest of the four Smolinsky girls, has the most motivation in life to be independent, and fend for herself. However to achieve this goal she would need to break loose of the family chain and peruse a life elsewhere. It appears she has done so as she runs away from home seeking an education....   [tags: Bread Givers] 1522 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers and Assimilation of Jews Essay - Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers and Assimilation of Jews An entire chapter of Eric Liu’s memoir, The Accidental Asian, is founded on the supposition that Jews today serve as a metaphor for assimilation into American culture. According to Liu, this is due to the ease with which Jews have been able to assimilate. However, the progress that Jews have made in embracing and affecting America has been gradual rather than instantaneous, as evidenced by the character Sara Smolensky in Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers....   [tags: Anzia Yezierska Bread Givers Jews essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1293 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Bread Givers Summary Paper - Bread Givers The 1920s was a hard and painstaking era in American history. Many family's throughout New York lived in absolute poverty and saved week to week just to make enough to eat and pay the rent. Many Immigrants flooded the streets desperate for work while living conditions were harsh and many starved. This is just the case of the novel Bread Givers, written by Anzia Yezierska. In this story we follow Sarah Smolinsky, an ambiguous independent Jewish girl "trapped" by her religious traditions....   [tags: Anzia Yezierska] 1707 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Bread givers - 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....   [tags: essays research papers] 1932 words
(5.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]