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Bread Givers Essay

800 words - 4 pages

The Smolinsky family; a poor Jewish family living on Hester Street struggling to make ends meet. The older daughters, Bessie, Mashah, and Fania, can’t find work, and Mashah spends what little money she has to make herself look more beautiful. Their father, Reb Smolinsky, doesn’t work at all, she spends his days reading holy books and taking his daughters’ wages. When Mrs. Smolinsky their mother talks of the struggle Sara goes out to the streets to sell herring and make the family some money. Already showing her heavy heart and willingness to help the family. Later in the book the older girls find jobs, and Mrs. Smolinsky rents out the second room, to help their financial situation.
Bessie ...view middle of the document...

After the marriages Reb spends all of their money on a grocery store, even though Mrs. Smolinsky told him to wait. Upon arrival they realized that the store was full of fake stock. Scrambling to make due, Sara and her mother suffer day in and day out working in that store. One day, Sara reaches her breaking point. She runs away from home and decides to become a teacher. She rents a small dirty room of her own because her plan to live with either Bessie or Mashah could not work because they were suffering in poverty also. To pay for her room Sara finds a day job in a laundry while her nights were to study and take classes. She faces discrimination for being a woman and living alone; other workers make her an outcast; her mother begs her to come home more often and her unhappy sisters are always on her to find a husband of her own. Fania actually tried to set Sara up with a Mr. Max Goldstein. Sara falls pretty hard for him at first and almost gives up her dream to pursue teaching. What changes her mind was that he was only interested in possessions. When her father hears of this refusal he disowns her. Still wishing to be independent Sara wants so badly to be like the clean,...

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