The Jewbird

Topics: Fairy tale, Bernard Malamud, American Writers Pages: 3 (839 words) Published: April 21, 2015
“The Jewbird” by Bernard Malamud
In Bernard Malamud’s “The Jewbird,” Malamud presents a modern day Jew, Cohen and how the feeling of being alienated drives him into anti-Semitic behavior against Schwartz; who represents a traditional Jew. This conflict is important because it illustrates the lengths at which Cohen will go to disconnect himself from his culture, while threating and committing unforgiveable acts against Schwartz. In the excerpt presented, the events right after the final confront against Schwartz by Cohen is described. Cohen’s feeling of alienation was brought out because Schwartz represents everything Cohen should and does not want to be. This makes the feul for constant conflict between Schwartz and Cohen, with Cohen constantly being the ignition, whether buying a cat in attempt to scare Schwartz away or beginning a quarrel because Schwartz did not take a bath, and other method of anti-Semitic behavior. The except also shows Cohen’s love with the phrase “Good riddance,” of finally getting rid of Schwartz the last bit of Jewish reminder he has and does not want.

After the family got back from their outing, Cohen feeling toward Schwartz and his family feeling toward Schwartz was not the same. Maurie “rapidly tried the nine times table and found he knew approximately half,” was a sign that he will he return to the dumb child he was. We also have Edie who was “[touching] a handkerchief to her eyes,” the final goodbye to send Schwartz away. Both Maurie and Edie loved Schwartz company for helping Maurie in school and keeping Edie company. But Cohen found Schwartz’s company irritating. Cohen, the farther who does not behavior like one, refuse to accept his culture and fatherly responsibility drove Schwartz the ideal Jew and father his is death.

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