Tevya And His First Daughter Essay, Research Paper
Tevya and His First Daughter
Tevya and His First Daughter is about a poor dairyman, Tevya, and his
daughter Tzeitl, who is in an arranged marriage that she does not want to be in.
Tevya and his wife, Golde, both approve of Tzeitl being married to Lazar Wolf,
the town s butcher. They forget to ask Tzeitl about her feelings about the
marriage, and when Tzeitl finds out she starts to cry. Tzeitl s sister, Hodel, is the
first on to make Tevya realize his mistake about the forced marriage, and he goes
to Tzeitl to fix it. The parents, the daughters, and the suitors all have different
views on arranged marriages.
Tzeitl s parents meant well in their choosing of Lazar Wolf. They believed
since he had many shops and had a good income that he could support her and
take good care of Tzeitl. Another instance the furthered their decision was that
Golde had a vision of Tzeitl in a wedding dress, which lead her to believe that
Lazar was the one to whom she should be married. While at Lazar Wolf s shop,
Lazar fed Tevya drinks to further his influence of him marrying his daughter.
Since Tevya, and his family, was poor, Lazar Wolf took advantage of that aspect
by showing Tevya that he was well off, he could support her and there was no
need for a dowry from Tevya.
When Tzeitl found out about her arranged marriage to Lazar Wolf she
became distraught and started crying. When Tevya asked why Tzeitl was crying,
Hodel remarked that Tzeitl did not want to be forced to marry anyone, especially
someone she did not love. This fact made Tevya understand his daughter s
thinking and his mistake of forcing her into marriage without consulting her first.
Afterwards, Tzeitl told her father about the man she was planning to marry;
Mottel, a tailor. Tevya s daughter made him grasp the idea that a marriage should
be based on love, not wealth or want.
Lazar Wolf wanted to marry Tzeitl because she was younger than he and
was very pretty. Lazar Wolf was quite older than Tzeitl, so the only way he
figured to get to marry her was to get into an arranged marriage with her. Mottel,
on the other hand, did not believe in arranged marriages. While he himself was
not as well off as Lazar, Mottel had been planning and saving up, so as to have
something to show for when he went to ask for Tzeitl s hand in marriage. The
reasons and differences of the two suitors varied greatly as for arranged marriages
and for motivation for marrying Tzeitl.
Arranged marriages can be good or bad; in this case is was a bad choice for
Tevya to make for his daughter. While Tzeitl s parents only meant well for her,
they should have asked what her thoughts and feelings were on the situation.
Tzeit s sisters were very helpful during the predicament, by making Tevya and
Golde recognize the error of their ways. The suitors had contrasting opinions in
ways of arranged marriages and reasons for marrying Tzeitl. The parents, the
daughters, and the suitors all had different views on arranged marriages.