In what way can we say that Asher has three fathers?
The term ‘father’ can simply be described as the person who contributes to the conception of a child, a progenitor whose relationship with the child is strictly biological. Nevertheless, the duty of a father requires something more ; being there for his children, watching and actively participating in their lives. The presence of a male figure is important for the development of a child as a human being and, in this case, as an artist and so is the notion of authority which is often related to the father figure. In his novel, Chaim Potok tells us the story of a boy named Asher Lev, from his early childhood in the Ladover Hasidic community in Brooklyn to his adulthood as a well-known and talented artist. Many male figures influence Asher, and each one brings certain elements to Asher’s vision of the world and way of life. Three men in particular Aryeh Lev, the Rebbe and Jacob Kahn are going to shape Asher’s life and take the role of father-like figures.
We identify three main figures in this book who are shaping Asher’s life. First comes Aryeh Lev who is Asher’s biological father. We can see a great evolution between the two characters among the book; he appears to be a pillar in his son’s life as a young child but when the travelling becomes more and more open, the absence of his father will lead to diverse consequence among which the practice of drawing and painting which becomes more and more often as a way to fill the void left by the absence of his father. Aryeh is Asher’s biological father and the man who but he doesn’t fulfil all the duties of a supportive father even though we see the evolution of their relationship going from a complicity and fascination when Asher is just a young child to the hostility of Aryeh towards his son’s art. Later on, when Asher is a grown up young man who lives his artistic life quite independently, we observe the desire his father has making an effort understanding his...
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