The Magic Barrel Anylisis By Bernard Malamud

1918 words - 8 pages

At the beginning of Bernard Malamud, “The Magic Barrel,” starting off with a children’s book style as if it was going to be a fairy tale. This is not the case whatsoever, however, each character plays the role of one. Love and finding who himself is the theme of the story, a young man Leo searches for a love that doesn’t exist. Not searching at all for what he desired, but changing his whole understanding on who he is after every experience, a love that he needed was never searched for, but finding it caused him to find himself. The story takes place in New York, a very large city with floating objects around it giving it an unnatural feel. Can also be related to how the author never understood the Jewish community and these floating objects represent a Jew that is lost in his own society, known by all as a dream city. However, that is not the case for Leo, after waiting all these years to his studies, trying to find the easiest way to become a rabbi, marriage. Being where Salzman the marriage broker comes into play. Not only did he want to find love for his lost years he believes that this is the source to find who he is. However, throughout his journey, trying to find a wife, he realizes that in order for him to do so. He wants to find his love for God that he has lost over the years. Hoping to find this throughout his research, he faces the fact that he will never be connected to him as much as he needs to be. Also, finding his wife would be his choice for survival in this world that he now lives on. After being lost and confused throughout the years.
Realizing that in order to find himself Leo discovers that the love for god and another woman is the only way. After hiring Salzman, turning down every girl that he has been offered. As if he is looking for the perfect girl. Not too old, good health, and has something different about her that only he could know. “Leo parted dry lips, but did not speak, nothing that Salzman had snatched a glance at the net card, he clearly asked, “How is her health?” (52). in saying this, he almost tries to find an imperfection for the women that Salzman is offered to him. At this point, it is hard to believe that he is looking for love. However more like a partner for him to feel connected with himself and God. Leo is obviously very confused by this point on what he is looking for in his search. There is no particular characteristic he is looking for except for one. “But don’t you think this young girl believes in love?”(50). He asks this in a way that makes it seem like he is looking for another answer besides yes. Love for a woman is not what he is looking for anymore. Finding a woman that understands what his role in this life is. Love still has a role to play in what he is looking for, but their women being provided by Salzman just keep lowering his standards. “Then decides to continue his studies, but to find a wife to love on his own terms.”(Tiphanie Claudio) Salzman gives him a better understanding of...

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