Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers

Topics: Sociology, Picket fence, Fence Pages: 2 (354 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers attacks several social norms of both her  traditional Polish homeland and the American life her protagonist has come  to know. Clearly autobiographical, Bread Givers boldly questions why certain  social and religious traditions continue throughout the centuries without  the slightest consideration for an individual's interests or desires. Sara's  traditional Jewish upbringing exposed her to a life dominated by patriarchal  control; when she arrived in New York to seek out the American Dream, she  found that once again her gender would stand in the way of such desires. In  spite of these cultural barriers, her mother understood Sara's burning quest  to break free from traditional molds: "...When she begins to want a thing,  there is no rest, no let-up till she gets it" (Yezierska PG). 

What is the American Dream, and who are the people most likely to pursue its  often-elusive fulfillment? Indeed, the American Dream has come to represent  the attainment of myriad goals that are specific to each individual; while  one person might consider a purchased home with a white picket fence her  version of the American Dream, another might regard it as the financial  ability to operate his own business. Clearly, there is no cut and dried  definition of the American Dream as long as any two people hold a different  meaning. What it does universally represent, however, is the opportunity for  people like Sara to seek out...

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...omen possess so 
much more within their souls than merely remaining the oppressed female  counterpart of an egotistical male is startling. 

Carrying forth the burden that has plagued women for centuries, Yezierska's  Bread Givers attempts to alter the historical concept of patriarchy within  the boundaries of Western epistemology. In the author's opinion, the age-old  gender molds are ripe for revamping and bringing into the present frame of  consciousness. No longer are women to be...
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