Deception as a There: Goodbye, Columbus and Gentleman's Agreement

Topics: Philip Roth, Judaism, Antisemitism Pages: 4 (1686 words) Published: December 26, 2012
Deception, How Far Would a Character Go to Achieve his Goals?
Some people may think of “Jewish Literature” as religious books and novels about God and all the work Jews have had to do to be where they are now; fighting wars, racial and religious discrimination. Even after being “legal” to live as Jews, anti-Semitism and Gentleman’s agreement have made their lives hard as Jews. The movie “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “Goodbye, Columbus” explore what it is to be a Jew in America in post-World War II. Nevertheless, not all Jewish literature is religious; in “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “Goodbye, Columbus” we see how deception is used to accomplish their goals conscious and subconsciously deceiving themselves and other along the progression of the text/film.

In the film “Gentleman’s Agreement” main character Phillip Green is an American Christian Journalist who becomes a “Jew” to be able to finally write an article with a different angle about anti-Semitism that had not yet been explore. In the 1940’s, even though it was not publish or legal to be prejudicial against Jews, most high-end business would deny availability to those based on last name and looks. Even colleges and jobs would deny acceptance to last names like “Greenburg”. Mr. Green wants to feel what it really is to be positioned among all other Jews as an inferior group due to their religion. The main reason for this deception is that Phillip needs to feel like a Jew to write this article. But he did not go alone, his mother and son tommy due to the characters devotion got involved too. At a point in the film, Tommy got bullied and told, “Dirty Jew”. Phillip gets very involved in this deception that changes his views of life. For example, when at the end, his secretary found out about him as a Jew just for the article, she looked at him with greater respect; Phillip said: “I am the same man I was 10 seconds ago, just that I am a Christian”. In the film we see how the fact that the hotel were he would...
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