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The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz By Mordecai Richler

928 words - 4 pages

Dr. Richler Examines the Human FlawsThe novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler is a satirical novel that examines many prominent human flaws. Many of these flaws are satirized through the characters in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Richler uses Mr. Friar, Mr. Cohen and Duddy Kravitz to satirize three specific human flaws; Richler uses Friar to satirize artistic pretension, Cohen to satirize unscrupulous business practice and Duddy to satirize jealousy and greed.Richler uses Mr. Friar, a self proclaimed artiste, to satirize artistic pretension. Friar believes himself to be an artiste but he is nothing more than washed up communist. When Friar is talking to Duddy about the movie deal he keeps saying that he doesn't want Duddy to get involved with the artistic side of it. "I will tolerate no interference with my artistic integrity,"(116). Friar wants to consider himself an artiste so he says things like this to seem like an artist, a professional. It seems that Friar subconsciously pretends to be an artist so he can get some respect because his life is terrible. Friar lives in a run down dirty apartment, he walks around naked, it seems he doesn't have a dollar to his name and he has had no success as an artist, he has produced no known work and no one has really heard of him. When Duddy needs help the most Friar picks up and leaves with no warning. "He's gone for good this time. He took the cameras with him,"(233). Friar leaves with no warning, just disappears with Duddy's cameras. Richler uses Friar to satirize artistic pretension. Friar uses artistic pretension to make himself feel better, to hid from his pitiful life.Richler uses Cohen to satirize unscrupulous business practice. Cohen is a businessman who believes that cutting corners is necessary in the pursuit of wealth and success. Cohen himself admits to shady business practice but he thinks it is necessary. "...there are lots of men who would tell you Cohen is a lousy song-of-a-bitch,"(266). Cohen is trying to encourage Duddy and he reveilles that many people do not admire his way of business. Later on in his encouragement Cohen talks about his unscrupulous business practice. "...I once nearly went to jail...but I had a partner and he wasn't as smart as me so he went to jail instead,"(266). Cohen shows here that he does indeed partake in shady business practice. Unscrupulous business practices are quite evident in everyday society, many businessmen cut corners to save a dollar, Richler uses Cohen to satirize this human quality.Duddy is well-rounded character in the book; Richler really makes his character come alive by developing many qualities. Richler uses...

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