Theme Of Love In The Magic Barrel By Benard Malamud

1070 words - 4 pages

That what love is has always been a question satisfied completely by no answer. Some have their own definitions and draw in their minds images of ideal lovers, while others just simply follow what the hearts dictate. Through the spiritual journey to seek for love of Leo, the main character of 'The Magic Barrel' by Bernard Malamud, the author gives us his undeniable declaration of love. Leo, who has a matchmaker find for him a wife, after all his choices falls in love with the one he does not choose, yet he loves her at the first sight. As what Malamud declares, it is because love is not a matter of choice but of chance.

From the very beginning of the story we are known that Leo Finkle has devoted all of his 6 year-time to his study and he is to be ordained. Never has in his mind had the thought of getting married until he is adviced to do so in order to win a congregation in an easier way. How can he get married once he has had no ?time for a social life and the company of young women?? The solution is a traditional one within the Jewish community, he calls in Pinye Salzman the matchmaker. From what he talks about the role of a marriage broker (?ancient, and honorable, highly approved?) and about his parents? marriage (?a successful one in the sense of their everlasting devotion to each other?), we might infer that he believes there will be love after getting married by arragement. Here we can see the conflict, and even irony of the situation. Leo loves no one yet he wants to have a wife. He wants a wife yet he finds her through other?s suggestion which depends on the lady?s social status, property and father?s promises. Moreover, his requires are so much and so high that there may be no ability to fulfill them. He finds faults in every girls Salzman offers him.
?Sophie P. Twenty-four years. Widow one year.[?]?
?Did you say a widow?? said Leo in surprise.
?Marrying a widow has never entered in my mind.?
?Lily H. High school teacher. Regular. Not a substitute.[?] Wonderful opportunity.?
?I don?t believe you mentioned her age??
?I?m afraid that seems a little too old.?
?Ruth K. Nineteen years. Honor student. Father offers thirteen thousand cash to the right bridegroom. He is a medical doctor. [?]?
With this lady all the conditions seem so good, still Leo feels doubt.
?Did you say nineteen??
?Is she attractive? Pretty??
?How is her health??
?[?] she is a little lame on her right foot [?]? and ?he shook his head.?
Obviously, no one could satisfy his taste since he keeps on asking for perfection and does not understand that people including him are imperfect. Try as he can Salzman cannot meet his client?s ends. As a result the commercial cupid has to tell lies to persuade him to date with Lily Hirschorn. This episode is one of the climaxes of the story. From the date in which ?Leo saw a profusion of loaves of bread go flying like ducks high over his head? he not only...

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