The Magic Barrel-Literary Analysis

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The Magic Barrel

All writers use literary terms to create a story. Bernard Malamud, the writer of The Magic Barrel, includes many literary elements. Character and characterization are definitely important elements in the short story. This essay will describe how Bernard Malamud creates the character of Leo Finkle through the methods of characterization.

In uptown New York lived Leo Finkle, a rabbinical student. Leo was advised by an acquaintance that he would find it easier to win a congregation if he were married. Leo, not having time for a social life, discovered a marriage broker in the Forward. He decided to call the man for help. When the broker, Pinye Salzman, arrived at his house one night, they began talking and considering Leo’s options. The first woman that Leo decided to date was a woman by the name of Lily Hirschorn. When they met they began talking and Leo quickly realized that this woman was not for him. He was very upset with Salzman, so he did not call him again. Salzman did not take no for an answer and once again appeared at Leo’s home. This time he had pictures with him. Leo quickly kicked him out and for weeks the envelope sat on the table collecting dust. One day Leo’s curiosity got the best of him, he opened the envelope revealing the pictures of the women. He didn’t like any of them for lack of life and excitement in their faces. When he was about to give up, he noticed a picture he didn’t see before, a beautiful mysterious woman. He knew immediately that this was the woman for him. He quickly found the brokers address and went to his home. Salzman was not there, so Leo sadly went home. As he arrived at his home he found Salzman at his doorstep. Leo showed the broker the picture of the woman, and told him that she was the girl for him. Salzman told him that picture was a mistake and shouldn’t have been in there, he quickly left. Leo followed him insisting to meet the woman. The broker said that she was a bad woman and is not for Leo....
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