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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. Anzia Yezierska’s best-known novel, Bread Givers, received a glowing review in the New York Times on September 13, Beautifully redesigned page for page with the previous editions, Bread Givers is an essential historical work with enduring relevance.

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Coming-of-age stories of young women straining against social inequities are important to tell as long as such inequities exist. A fascinating portrayal of a Jewish daughter’s struggle to find herself in the chaotic world of the ‘s where the much-vaunted wealth of the ruling classes did not reach that of the struggling working class, where women’s rights were hardly recognized amongst the poor and the immigrant, and where patriarchy and religious oppression were powerful forces.

The Yezierska family their surname was Americanized to Mayer by immigration officials arrived here in the early s. It is difficult to imagine an indictment of the numbing adherence to a vision of religious tradition than Anzia Yezierska’s “The Bread Givers. Feeling successful, Sara returns home to find her mother fatally ill. All that’s false in politics, prohibition and all the evils of the world come from them.

Bread Givers

Her first, a collection of short stories entitled Hungry Heartswas turned into a silent film. Want to Read saving…. Even up to this day, in the Philippines, fathers are still considered the head of the family. After the first chapter I was hooked.


Feinstein, angered that Sara refuses to give her money, writes a letter to the principal of the school, Hugo Seelig, where Sara is teaching in an attempt to discredit her.

Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska | Jewish Book Month Events

Woe to America where women are let free like men. One can only celebrate the protagonist Sara’s escape and victorious quest to remake herself as an American and a teacher. Aug 12, Ann Olszewski rated it really liked it. It is neither the mother nor the eldest child.

I believe that this fact totally undermines his role as a representation of Jewish tradition, if that is his role as we discuss it in literature class. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. Jun 19, Pamela rated it it brewd amazing. But the reconciliation is bittersweet.

She is happy, but she isn’t the Sara that she wanted to be. Young Women, College Students. What’s going to be your end? With givfrs dusty and a small room to live in, working in the morning, and studying to be a teacher at night, life is exhausting. How to cite this page Jewish Women’s Archive.

Reb Smolinsky’s self-satisfied assumption that he deserves to live off the sweat of his wife and daughters, gread the only way bred 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. It’s an engaging read, not a happy jaunt but educational in its historic telling of New York in the s through the eyes If you want to FEEL how a protagonist feels in a story, then this is a story for you.


But not even then she is not free; in the end, old Reb Smolinsky threatens to ruin even her new household by becoming so helpless that he lives with Sara and her husband.

Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska

I can’t imagine you can. She’d broken free of poverty and patriarchy! Also, how past habits and thoughts hindered success of some. No matter what happens, he is the one who decides against anything concerning familial problems.

In some contexts, “a person” seems to mean simple humanity, as in Reb Smolinksy’s quote above. She will not and could not let her father do the same thing to her as he did to her sisters. On the other hand, I did not like the way Yezierska wrote the sequence of the events: Characters like Dewey appear in many pieces of Yezierska’s writing.

Whether this is a genuine belief of his or a mere self-justification for his hypocrisy, it’s severely problematic, especially since he is unwilling or unable to acknowledge that others may not share his own priorities. We had many good conversations about it and that makes me treasure it even more.