The Role of Women (Duddy Kravitz)

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The Role of Women (Duddy Kravitz)

By | March 2013
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1) What is the role of women in the novel? Make specific references to female characters. What does this tell us about the Kravitz world?

In Mordecai Richler’s novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, women are represented to have a lower class than men. The women who are present in the novel include Yvette Durelle, Ida Kravitz, Minnie Kravitz, Linda Rubin and Sandra Calder. Each of these female characters are seen as helpless individuals unable to bear for themselves and left unsuccessful without men. Through Duddy’s never ending quest to own land to ultimately be successful, Richler depicts women in a negative way. They are seen as instruments to help men succeed and every so often used as traps for others. Therefore the women in this novel do not have lives of their own as they are portrayed solely as part of other men’s lives. Such exists because the lives of the women were not once explored throughout the novel, it was always through the eyes of a man and since the women are not explored, therefore this results in a male dominated novel. Women are portrayed to be items of sexual desires; worthless and unworthy of a man’s second thoughts. As was the case with Max, his wife and Josette. Josette is one of the whores whom Max is pimping for and is described as being a “handsome whore with splendid black hair and enormous breast.”(22) Such indicates that she is revered only for looks and her sexual abilities. Another such instance is when a women was being described by Max only for her features while they were at the bar “…sitting beside him is the greatest little piece you ever saw. Knockers? You’ve never seen such a pair. I mean just look at that girl…” (20) Furthermore, Josette’s feelings are disregarded and ignored even though she is human and has every right to be treated fairly and humanely. Max grabs her forcefully and practically drags her. “You’re hurting me …” (24) She is thought to be someone who can only perform sexual tasks and the readers...
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