Эссе: Critical Essay by Susan Kress

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... The daughter, Flora, is initially unwilling to accept Shaya, but then seems satisfied to marry him, and all goes well until Stroon discovers Shaya forsaking his spiritual heritage by entering libraries and eating unkosher food in a restaurant. Stroon denounces both Flora and Shaya, but Flora manages to bring about a reconciliation. The father then decides he will be "born again" by marrying his housekeeper, Tamara, and living in Israel, thus enacting in his own life the resolution he has wanted to control for his daughter, and ensuring his spiritual life, not by importing a bridegroom but by exporting himself and his new devout wife. Thus, at this level, all ends happily What about the bridegroom? We know less of him since we are rarely granted access to his consciousness; he is an illoui, a prodigy of deep learning and spirituality, but also fond of a certain kind of mischievous fun ("he was detected giving snuff to a pig, and then participating with much younger boys in a race over the bridge." He comes to America with Stroon, allows his clothes to be exchanged for those of American fashion, meets Flora, and suffers her obvious distaste and distress. Nevertheless, in pursuing a secular education, he wins her love and prepares to become the doctor of her (and now his) dreams. All this must, of course, be kept secret from the father, but Stroon discovers the truth and then the guilty pair wed hastily. At the end of the story, when Flora tells him she has won her father's grudging approval, Shaya is delighted, but yet more interested in a meeting of his intellectual discussion group to whom he introduces Flora, and whose company he is most reluctant to leave even though Flora feels they should be celebrating their new union. Thus, for Shaya, too, the end is a happy one: he has a wife who pleases him, a handsome marriage settlement, and the opportunity to pursue his newly chosen studies. Now for Flora's perspective. The story begins with a brief closeup of a young girl sitting comfortably before a parlor stove "enveloped in a kindly warmth." The imagery of dusk, however, creeping into the room "in almost visible waves" prefigures the enclosure and envelopment of the story's formal closure. The narrative situation is a familiar one: a young woman, unmarried, is thinking about the sort of husband she wants--in this case a successful young doctor who will provide a life for her that will be very different, in her mind, from those of the other Mott or Bayard Street girls who marry businessmen. ...