Essay on "Bread Givers" by Anzia Yezierska

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Bread Givers Essay: Sara’s Identity

In the book “Bread Givers” by Anzia Yezierska a young girl from poland grows up in america. Set in the 1920s conditions for immigrants living in the United States were tough, not to mention living in the lower East side of Manhattan, New York. Reb Smolinsky the father of Sara in this book really tries on impressing his beliefs onto his children for he is very set on his traditional ways. This becomes a very prominent underlying to the story as Sara grows throughout the book moving from her fathers beliefs to her own. This clash between the “old way” of doing things and her new american life style Sara breaks free from this conflict in finding her own identity in this new world. By doing so Sara really connect and Identifies with three main factors in her life independence, education and hard work. With these three basic elements in Sara’s life she really transitions into her own being and self identity.

Throughout most of the beginning of the book Sara is oppressed by her father’s tyranny that drives her to crave independence. After her father demolishes the lives of Sara’s three other sisters she “began to see that Father, in his innocent craziness to hold up the Light of the Law to his children, was as a tyrant more terrible than the Tsar from Russia” (Yezierska, 64-65). As this is just the beginning of Sara’s unrest with her father it is none the less the beginning of the end for their relationship. Because she does come to the end of her patience with her father. With him constantly beating her her down she would never be able to vocalize or blossom into her own ideas or beliefs. He would constrict all of her self identity out if she was unable to break free from him. “I’m smart enough to look out for myself. It’s a new life now. In America, women don’t need men to boss them” (Yezierska, 137). Sara finally speaks her mind along with realizing she is able to break free from tradition and be independent in this new...
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