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Jewish traditions in the apprentice of duddy kravitz

Setting[ edit ] The satirical novel is set mostly in poor districts of Montreallike St. Urbain Streetwith mention of wealthier districts, like Westmount and Outremont. Parts of the story take place in the Laurentian Mountainsin the resort town of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts and surrounding areas.

Family, friends, lovers and teachers all contribute to Duddy's burgeoning obsession with power and money — desires embodied in the possession of land. As a child, Duddy learns from his grandfather that "a man without land is nobody," and Duddy comes to believe land ownership to be life's ultimate goal and the means by which a man is made into a somebody. Duddy begins to move towards this goal by working for his Uncle Benjy.

Their relationship is strained: Uncle Benjy, a wealthy clothing manufacturer with socialist sympathies, has always favored Duddy's brother Lennie, who wants to become a doctor.

Uncle Benjy takes a dim view of Duddy's commercial ambitions, seeing them as avaricious and crass. During the summer after high school, Duddy takes a job as a waiter at a hotel in Ste. He stumbles upon a beautiful and secluded lake while out with his soon-to-be lover and " Girl Friday " Yvette. A born entrepreneur, Duddy immediately sees that the lake has tremendous potential as the future site of a summer resort. Duddy returns to Montreal and starts a company to produce bar-mitzvah films.

To this end he hires Friar, a blacklisted in the United States, for his communist tendenciesalcoholic, avant-garde filmmaker. Since Duddy's childhood, his father, Max, had told him stories about Jerry Dingleman, the local "Boy Wonder" whose rags-to-riches story is canonical among the residents of St. Looking for help with his film company, Duddy attempts to engage Dingleman.

The two travel to New York Citybut Duddy fails to secure any assistance from the "Boy Wonder" who sees Duddy as a naive upstart and uses him to ferry a package of heroin across the Canada-U. On the way back from New York he does, however, meet Virgil, an amicable and trusting American with a consignment of pinball machines for sale.

Back in Montreal, Duddy rents an apartment and an office for himself and Yvette and, as the plots of land around the lake he's dreaming of possessing go up for sale, his Laurentian land empire grows. Friar tries unsuccessfully to seduce the comely Yvette he wordlessly and suddenly abandons his work with Duddy. Duddy rebounds by starting a new movie distribution business and hires Virgil as a travelling projectionist.

A few months later, Virgil, an epileptic a fact known to Duddy when given the jobexperiences a seizure while driving, crashes the vehicle and is subsequently paralyzed from the waist down from his injuries. Yvette, blaming Duddy for the accident, takes Virgil to Ste. Agathe where she cares for him as he recovers. Duddy is left to show the movies seven days a week while still trying to oversee movie production at the same time.

Meanwhile, Uncle Benjy finds he has a terminal illness. He tries to mend fences with Duddy, but Duddy rebuffs his uncle's request that the two see each other more frequently during his final days. Uncle Benjy's death acts as a trigger for Duddy who then experiences a nervous breakdown and refuses to leave his room for a week. Having no communication with the outside world, Duddy loses his clients, and is thus forced to declare bankruptcy and to jewish traditions in the apprentice of duddy kravitz all his possessions over to the state except for the land, which was all in Yvette's name due to Duddy's being considered a minor.

After Duddy recovers from his nervous breakdown, he invites Yvette and Virgil to move with him into his uncle's mansion, which was left to Duddy as an inheritance on the condition that the house not be rented out or sold. When Duddy hears of the last bit of land around the lake he's dreaming of possessing going up for sale, he exhausts his few remaining contacts for money but still comes up short.

Jewish traditions in the apprentice of duddy kravitz for time and desperate to claim the last piece of his empire, especially knowing Dingleman has expressed interest in the land and has the money for it, Duddy resorts to forging a cheque from Virgil's chequebook to acquire the outstanding money.

Yvette finds out and tells Duddy's grandfather, who is embarrassed and unhappy with the way Duddy has obtained the land. This theft also prompts Yvette and Virgil to move out of the mansion and forbid Duddy to ever see them again. In the end, Duddy has no friend left.

But back in the Montreal St. He's become a "somebody". He grabs his father Max, spins him around, repeating, "you see. Throughout Duddy's childhood he is close to his grandfather, and it is Simcha who sparks Duddy's drive for land ownership jewish traditions in the apprentice of duddy kravitz he tells young Duddy that "a man without land is nobody.

A childless couple with a strained relationship, Uncle Benjy takes quickly to Duddy's older brother, Lennie, providing him with funding for university. Uncle Benjy's attitude towards Duddy is markedly different, as he takes much less interest in the sly young boy's development.

The family become estranged from Ida due to her winters in the southern states and her eventual divorce from Benjy, but she returns briefly upon finding out about Benjy's illness.

His father, a crude simple man, makes a living by driving a taxi. His mother died when Duddy was young, and his memories of her are few. Throughout the story he pesters Lennie for information about their mother, wanting to know if his mother liked him.

Leonard Lennie Kravitz — Duddy's older brother by six years. Lennie attends medical school, funded by Uncle Benjy, and is set to fulfill the St. Urbain Street dream of being a lawyer or doctor. A studious boy, Lennie falls in with a crowd of well-off students during his university years who take advantage of him.

When his studies plunge and are at risk as a result of his group of friends, Lennie flees to Toronto but is brought back by an insistent Duddy. He is a nuisance to his history teacher, Mr MacPherson, and leads a teenage gang called the Warriors. Unlike his brother, Duddy is a lacklustre student who passes through high school at the bottom of his class.

He does, however, show entrepreneurial ambition early on, with his first money-making schemes in selling stamps and circulating Tijuana bibles. Duddy comes to have many loyal allies, but his own loyalties never extend beyond his own immediate family, including his grandfather, all of whom come to question his ambitions and means of making them happen. During Duddy's summer at the hotel, Cuckoo Kaplan is Duddy's only trusted acquaintance.

The friendship between Duddy and Cuckoo ends when Duddy tells Cuckoo that he lacks talent. Yvette Durelle — An honest, hardworking young woman from Ste. Agathe whom Duddy meets while working at the hotel. Yvette takes Duddy on a walk deep into the mountains, where they stop at Lac St. Duddy, excited about finding his dream land, entrusts Yvette with the deeds and secretarial work for his land acquisition and companies. Their relationship is strained by Duddy's constant swindling and tireless ambition.

He is non-committal to his relationship with Yvette despite her genuine love for him and his being highly dependent on her. Virgil is a loyal friend; despite Duddy's constant abuse Virgil remains in his service. He is highly literate, composing poetry in his spare time and eventually creating an Epileptic Awareness publication, intent on giving epileptics the same network of support as other minorities.

Duddy eventually cheats Virgil out of money after the latter is severely injured in an accident.

He won a scholarship to McGill University but dropped out to become a writer. He, unlike the other teachers, refuses to use corporal punishment on the students. MacPherson's wife is sickly and bedridden.

One night while MacPherson is out, a prank phone call by Duddy to MacPherson's house pulls his wife out of bed, resulting in her death. When MacPherson returns to school, he uses corporal punishment on the boys and in his spare time begins drinking heavily. Irwin Shubert — A 19-year-old boy whom Duddy first encounters while working in Ste.

  • This theft also prompts Yvette and Virgil to move out of the mansion and forbid Duddy to ever see them again;
  • Women had been meek and homebound, she told me, and they took on a new assertive outlook in those years;
  • MacPherson's wife is sickly and bedridden.

Irwin is antagonistic to Duddy's ambition and cheats him out of his summer earnings through a night of rigged roulette. He is later one of the boys comprising Lennie's group of McGill friends. Jerry Dingleman — Crippled from polio and walking with crutches, he is known as the Boy Wonder. Ten years ago he was a very poor, typical Jew living in Montreal.

As the legend goes, he collected street car transfers off the street and sold them. Selling at 3 cents a piece. Duddy befriends him through a cinema club and together they start Duddy's company producing ludicrous avant-garde bar mitzvah films. Sandra Calder — One of the girls from Lennie's university friends group. After she gets pregnant by her boyfriend, Lennie is pressured into performing an abortion on her, which could get him kicked out of medical school.

Hugh Thomas Calder — Sandra's father. Although he attempts to create a friendship with Duddy, he is turned away due to Duddy's unwillingness to set aside business. He is a millionaire who inherited, rather than earned, his money. Samuel Cohen — Owns a scrap yard in Montreal. He befriends Duddy and gives him some fatherly advice about the need to use immoral means to get ahead in business. He is the first person to agree to buy a bar mitzvah film from Duddy. The description of the overblown, arty film is one of the comic highlights of the novel.

Agathe where Duddy has his waiter job. Linda Rubin — The spoiled daughter of Mr.

Jewish traditions in the apprentice of duddy kravitz

She somewhat unknowingly helps Irwin trick Duddy out of his summer earnings. Later she is seen as an escort for Dingleman. Jane Cox — A middle aged women who has inappropriate interests in young school boys, Married to their favorite teacher Mr. Olive Brucker — Used to be a "perfect" couple with Jerry Dingleman, but left him when he got polio. Later she is hinted to be a drug addict.