Bread Givers has ratings and reviews. BlackOxford said: Male LiberationA gem in so many dimensions: King Lear with an extra daughter, a proto. Bread Givers is a novel by Anzia Yezierska that was first published in See a complete list of the characters in Bread Givers and in-depth analyses of. A short summary of Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Bread Givers.

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The first half of the story takes place when the main character, Sarah Smolinsky, is still a child or in her teens, and describes the control that her father had over h This was written in so a reminder that feminism as analysis of the suppression of women as distinct from the struggle for the vote didn’t just start in the s and s. Reb Smolinsky’s self-satisfied assumption that he deserves to live off the sweat of his wife and daughters, while the only way he contributes to their spiritual well-being is to berate them with self-serving aphorisms, is therefore undeniably horrifying to me, as it becomes to Sara herself.

Sara on the other ahzia, comes yezoerska terms with father’s relentless demand for authority, and tries to break free from it.

Each of her sisters, by contrast, becomes trapped by marriage even the one who marries richand all of them, including Sara, have forever to deal with the terrifying power that their tyrannical, ultra-pious father holds over them. This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. I felt the hunger of her family as they scrounged for food and warmth, the shame of giveds impoverished, and the singular hope of Sara’s brave spirit to live free from the shackles of oppressive patriarchy.


The style is often melodramatic–and yet the emotions are so thoroughly felt and convincing that the melodrama is transcended.

The narrative seems to be written in a naive Yiddish-inflected English Finally, she is ultimately drawn back to supporting her father by a lingering feeling of responsibility for her parents, no matter how bad her father was.

Another night when Sara is on her way to have dinner with Hugo she finds her father extremely ill, lying in the gutter and selling chewing gum.

“New York Times” reviews Yezierska’s “Bread Givers” | Jewish Women’s Archive

Sara’s attempt to breathe a freer air is genuinely heroic and greatly costly. One thing I am cocksure about Yezierska: Second, she is not accepted by most other Americans, especially in college, because they can see her impoverished immigrant background.

The Long Way to Independence: I found this on my bookshelf with no recollection of when or where I bought it and whether it was a recommendation or just something that caught my eye. Feeling successful, Sara returns home to breae her mother fatally ill.

Then a cultural war emerge between the conservative, eastern-way of thinking father with a daughter that dreams of going to college at a time where colleges were thought to be only for men and givere shouldn’t be more than school teachers. Jan 30, Emily added it Shelves: View all 4 comments. So what is he to do? He chases customers away from the store with his preaching and scolding. You might go mad at him that you might feel like engaging him in a debate over religion and life.

This book was assigned reading as part of a course on immigration policy within the US.

Preview — Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska. The girls were rarely free for individual pleasures or to choose prospective husbands.


Bread Givers

This is the tale of a Polish-Jewish family who have immigrated to the teeming, impoverished ghetto of New York. Bread Givers is the story of Russian Jew immigrant Sara Smolinsky and her desire and struggle to achieve the pinnacle of what it means to be an American; the opportunity to invest one’s self in individual pursuits.

In this sense, Sara’s comment about her family’s living quarters is strictly true: Sara Smolinsky, lives a hard life.

He came to a new settlement with intangible ideals about this great new America, but realized all too quickly, how short lived his hopes were. This book also raises a number of important issues in American history.

Reb Smolinsky is concerned about whether he can live with Sara stating, promise to keep sacred all that is sacred to him. Retrieved from ” https: Sara and her sisters become furious, viewing the quick marriage as a dishonor to their mother, and vow to not see their father. Probably nothing, at least in the eyes of the father.

A fool they whip even in the Holy Temple. She graduated in as a cooking teacher, but she did not remain a teacher for long because she disliked it intensely. If you remonstrate with me, well, luckily, you never have this kind of father.

Rage flamed from yeziefska eyes as he thundered at me, stamping his feet.

Nonetheless, for me, it is not that a big deal. He imposes draconian rules whether you like them or not.