THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ
BY: MORDECHAI RICHLER
Write a short paragraph to introduce your book.
Mordechai Richler’s novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, was about a young Jewish boy, named Duddy Kravitz, who lived in in Montreal during the 1940s and was raised by a poor family. His entire life, all he wanted was to become a wealthy man with a piece of land. Duddy grew up surrounded by anti-Semitism and unfortunately, he eventually becomes very selfish and does anything to make money, even stealing, lying and loosing long-lasting friendships.
Discuss 2 of the significant ideas/issues presented in the book. Explain them and give examples.
An issue I found significant in the text, as I said before was Anti-Semitism. As many people say, when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the truth about that person usually comes out. Duddy’s English Teacher, Mr. John McPherson was a teacher who refused to punish the children. His wife was very sick and stayed in bed all day. One day, Duddy and his friends decide to prank call Mr. John McPherson, which resulted in his wife getting out of bed and unfortunately causing her death. The next day at school, Mr. John McPherson shows up under the influence of alcohol, completely drunk and starts to insult the Jews and making extremely racist comments. This is just a small example of Anti-Semitism during Duddy’s childhood. Another idea I found important in the text was selfishness as well as ambition and greed. Even though Duddy was making more money than a 17 year old should, he always wanted more. Nothing was more important to him than making money. When he heard that the last piece of land in Lac St. Pierre was up for sale, he took all the money he had, but still came up short. Duddy decides to forge a cheque from Virgil’s chequebook. Virgil was a man who Duddy met in New York and helped him make money illegally by smuggling pinball machines.