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The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, By Mordechai Richler

2462 words - 10 pages

Mordecai Richler(January 27, 1931 – July 3, 2001) was a Canadian author, screenwriter and essayist. He wrote a lot essays about the Jewish community in Canada, and about nationalism as practised by Canadian anglophones and the francophone Québécois in addition to his fiction. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) was one of his best works. Like Duddy in the novel, Mordecai Richler came to Canada as a Jewish immigrant during the times when English was the only official language in Canada (even in Quebec) and grew up in the large Jewish communities while facing the difficulties like anti-semitism and segregation. He acquired English as his second language after Yiddish and not French for ...view middle of the document...

He lived in Montreal for only half of his life and always moved from Canada to Europe, which I have done in my life as well but hasn’t been shown so far in his novel. He died of cancer in July 3, 2001 at the age of 70 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Content information with writing samples:
The novel is set mostly in Montreal in the east of Mount Royal Park on and about St. Urbain Street and Saint Laurent Boulevard Montreal during the 1940s. The city is old, dirty, crowded and divided into sections based on ethnicity and religion. There are poor districts, like St. Urbain Street, and there are wealthy districts, like Westmount and Outremont. Parts of the story take place in the Laurentian Mountains, in the resort town of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts and surrounding areas where Duddy gets his summer job, meets his lover and takes his first step towards owning land in Lac St. Pierre after shooting his first film by selecting a lake and the lands surrounding it.The following quotes show the locations in the novel:
“…in the tree-lined streets of Outremont..” (page 4)
“…He walks up to the corner of Park and St. Joseph..” (page 22)
“…a twenty-nine-year-old boy from St. Urbain..” (page 23)
“…Turning smartly right down Esplanade Avenue…” (page 40)
“…Wheeling right and back up Clark Street five..” (page 44)
“…on a corner of St. Dominique Street…” (page 45)
“…he went to work as a waiter in an hotel in the Laurentian mountains. Rubin’s Hotel Lac des Sables was in St. Agathe des Monts….” (page 71)

Analysis & Conflicts:
The Main Protagonist: The main protagonist in this novel is Duddy Kravitz, who’s a nineteen year old boy that graduated from high school while failing in some courses. He comes to Montreal as an immigrant and lives in a jewish community and grows up always as second to his brother, who’s better than him in academics and gets admitted to McGill University with a scholarship. According to Mordechai Richler, his family didn’t come as immigrants on their own will as he says “…he might have been born in Lodz, but forty-eight years later his grandfather had bought a steerage passage to Halifax.Duddy might have been born in Toronto, that’s where his grandfather was bound for, but Simcha Kravitz’s CPR ticket only took him as far as the Bonventure Station in Montreal, and he never did get to Toronto…” (page 45). He is generally not liked by most people unlike his brother due to him being unsteady, a nuisance maker and annoying most of the time. He is mistreated by his teacher Mr. MacPherson, who calls tells him “…Then he’s not fit to bring up a boy…”(page 6) about his father and also says “…The trouble with you Jews, is that you’re always walking around with a chip on your shoulder…”(page 34). He works for his uncle Benjy, who always liked his brother Lennie over him. After graduation, he goes to work as a waiter in a hotel in the Laurentian mountains under Mr. Rubin for summer as the author says, “..Duddy took his first regular job at...

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