An armistice is a formal agreement of opposing armies to stop fighting. It comes from the Latin words arma, which means weapons, and statium, meaning stopping. In the story “Armistice” by Bernard Malamud the two warring parties, which sign the armistice, are France and Germany. But there is a parallel with the armistice between Morris and Gus. The story takes place in Brooklyn, New York during the World War II. The main character in the story is Morris. He is a “widower, who owned a small grocery store and delicatessen store in Scandinavian neighborhood of Brooklyn”. In the beginning the author uses flashback and imagery to show us an incident from Morris’s childhood, which has left an unrecoverable trace. Since the Nazi came to power, he often recalls how the Jewish sexton dies in “speechless terror”, laying in front of his burning house. Morris hoped the French to win the war, because he believed this was the only salvations for the Jews. Despite not being directly involved in the war, the war was extremely harmful for him. His sleep is raw, full of nightmares. Malamud depicts Morris as drained of energy. It looks like he is experiencing the persecution of Jews himself, despite the fact that he is not Europe and according to the other salesmen he “was taking it too seriously”. But for most people, who doesn’t belong to the group of Jews, is almost impossible to understand what these people suffer and why Morris so desperately hopes the French to win the war and end the Jew’s sufferings. During this time, America is not involved in the war and some Americans were supporting Germany. The author introduces in the text one such American with the character of Gus. He is “a heavy man, with a strong, full head and fleshy face”, who “delivered the delicatessen meats and provisions” for Morris. He is fascinated by the power of Nazi and with every won battle of Germany over France, his manner towards Morris gets more intolerable. Once the...
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