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Duddy's Focus On Wealth Essay

906 words - 4 pages

In my opinion, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, a book written by Mordecai Richler, is ultimately about money. Simcha Kravitz, Duddy’s grandfather, would tell Duddy as a child that “a man without land is nobody.” These words encouraged him to live his life in a manner in which he would do anything he could in order to obtain the land that a “nobody” would not possess. But Duddy does not solely focus his desires on land; instead, his goals are set on wealth in general.

In order to acquire wealth, Duddy engages in acts of dishonesty and deceit. He does this by exploiting the weaknesses of his friends, such as Virgil Roseboro and Yvette Durelle, while completely disregarding the fact that by doing this, his dignity and self-respect will diminish. Duddy scams Virgil by taking his bootlegged pinball machines in exchange for a job and truck that does not even exceed its costs. Moreover, Duddy indirectly deteriorates the relationship Yvette had with her family due to the fact that her boyfriend, Duddy, is Jewish, and basically uses her as a device of sexual pleasure. She, like Virgil, is nothing more than a tool Duddy will use in order to achieve his goals of land ownership. In addition to this behaviour, Duddy was incredibly manipulative when it came down to him conning the Cohen family into purchasing the poor quality bar-mitzvah film that have been produced by his firm. Afterwards, he becomes a rogue that demonstrates absolute dishonesty towards his customers as a method of obtaining more money. Duddy should have acted in a more honest manner and aimed for the betterment of his business reputation, but instead, he disregards his business ethics and centralizes his goals strictly on the money that he earns.

The most unbelievably sickening act that Duddy commits takes place after Virgil becomes victimized by paralysis. Duddy ends up forging Virgil’s signature on a check in order to access Virgil’s bank account and steal his money. Although this money help’s Duddy purchase the remainder of his land, in the process he becomes a despised and wretched tyrant. Not only does this result in the annihilation of Duddy’s friendship with Virgil, but also results in the loss of Yvette’s respect for Duddy. It becomes quite obvious that Duddy did not value his friendships as much as he did his wealth, as if he did, he would’ve earned money the proper way, as a waiter, and wouldn’t have resorted to such ruthless acts in order to attain complacency. It’s quite disappointing to learn how he would...

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