Asher Lev 2

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In the novel My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok; the reader is exposed to the conflict within an Orthodox Hasidic Jewish boy. In the beginning of this novel, Asher is able to balance his religious teachings with his desire to draw. His desire to draw causes Asher, to behave impulsively when he is younger and eventually Asher decides that his need to express himself through drawing is more important that the teachings of his religion. The elders in his faith are often disappointed and upset with his behavior and at the end of the novel; even his supportive mother is annoyed with Asher.

Throughout most of this novel, Rivkeh, Asher's mother, supports Asher's artistic development. Although Rivkeh herself struggles with Asher's desire to be an artist, she starts to become more involved in his work. Rivkeh even buys Asher supplies. "The box contained twelve tubes of oil colors, half a dozen bristle brushes of different sizes, a bottle of turpentine, a bottle of linseed oil, a palette knife, and a palette. She had also bought me a small easel and half a dozen small sized stretched canvases" (Page 161). In March both Rivkeh and Asher go to the Parkway museum for Asher to study other paintings by other artists. "Early in the afternoon of the third Friday in March, my mother and I went to the Parkway Museum" (Page 166).

Aryeh also plays a significant role in his artistic development. He disagrees with his son for being an artist because Jewish people don't become artists. Aryeh is not impressed when he finds out that his son Asher draws an evil looking Reebe in his Chumash. "I wish you would stop drawing. We were done with that foolishness" (Page 129). Just when Aryeh and Asher's relationship started to come together, it quickly broke down to pieces when Aryeh sees the Brooklyn Crucifixion.

Rivkeh and Aryeh have both been affected by Asher's personal and artistic talent. Aryeh showed Asher that being an artist wasn't a Jewish thing and it showed when Asher...
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