Isaac Bashevis Singer Essay, Research Paper
Isaac Bashevis Singer
There are many writers in this world, and many of them write short stories. These short stories are to-the-point works of literature that have one thing in common among all of them, themes. Isaac Bashevis Singer was one short story author. In this paper, It will be proven that he was an excellent short story author and that his work is greatly represented in his story “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy”.
Isaac led a simple life at the beginning. He was born in 1904 and in Leconcin, a little town in Poland. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Warsaw. He lived there until 1935, when he traveled to the United States. There his father and his paternal grandfather were rabbis, while his maternal grandfather also a rabbi, was in the Maskilic, or enlightened tradition. Isaac had a thoroughly traditional Jewish upbringing in which these two elements collided. What influenced Isaac the most into literature was his brother. Isaac looked up to him and followed some of his steps in becoming a writer, but soon made his own.
Isaac’s life was full of hardships and misfortunes as well as many gratifying surprises and events. He lived during one of the hardest times in America, the Depression. He did not let the world’s troubles bother him and kept on writing and publishing novels all throughout his life. He became a professor of literature at a college and passed on his ideas about the subject. He tried to teach all he knew but could not finish due to his recent death. What he taught did not go in vain thought. His most unique ideas were learned by many young writers, who will keep on writing in his style.
Isaac, as you already know, wrote short stories. In these stories he would have four or fewer characters, in which two or one were his principal characters. Settings would take place back in his homeland and places in Europe. They were never fictitious places. The time period in which these stories occurred would be in the present, which then was during the 1950’s, or a few years earlier. What was most unique were his short, to-the-point themes that were based on his own experience and will to share it.
Isaac’s techniques for writing his stories are based on simplicity and humor. He used these techniques to lure readers into having an easy read and funny story to relax them, while learning something in the meantime. He sharpened his skills throughout the years and got a bigger and bigger audience.
“Yentl the Yeshiva Boy” was written during his learning stages and was not intended to be a published item. Since it was so good, he had a change of mind. This story took place in Israel, during the early 1950’s. He placed a humorous mood, but still having a calm sense in this story. It was a good combination.
The story is about a Jewish girl who wanted to study the teachings of the Torah, but could not since she was a girl. She decided to trick her teachers by disguising herself as a boy and learning as much as she could. During her journey, she fell in love with a boy who also had her same goals. Her love couldn’t be expressed, since she was supposed to be a boy. The climax was when she revealed herself to him and the whole world. She was just a girl who wanted to learn, no matter what her gender. Her determination brought her to her goal and she succeeded.
There are two principal characters in this story, Yentl, who is the protagonist, and Avigdor. Yentl is a dynamic character, who changes her thoughts and ideas throughout the story. She is round, meaning that she is not a stereotype girl who lived her life like all others. Avigdor is a static character, staying the same throughout the story. Being a static character influences him being a flat stereotype boy who back then grew up learning and becoming a rabbi. Yentl’s significance is crucial, since she is the protagonist, and Avigdor’s is also, being the person Yentl’s falls in love with stating that she could not stay a boy the rest of her life like she wanted to.
The narrator in this story is omniscient, one who knows all and is everywhere. ” Yentl thought to herself?could only be the solution”; this proves the omniscient participation of the narrator. (55) Description techniques are that of an omniscient narrator, giving personal and non-personal thoughts, as well as describing the events and places.
Isaac’s style is “keep it simple”. He wrote easy-to-read stories that were humorous at sometimes. The dialogue that he used was a simple reading one. They were common words used everyday. There is a vast extent of figurative language used in this story, making it relaxing to hear. Imagery was used to express some ideas, too.
The theme was a very easy to find out. If you read the title of the book, and put two and two together, you would figure it out. It is about discrimination based on gender and that it will hold no one if they determine themselves. It applies today in many ways, although there is not a great quantity in America, but back then when it was written,
women could not even vote. He used this story to teach people that they can succeed at what they are determined themselves to do.
Short stories are important to this world in the way that they educate, relax, and entertain. Isaac’s learnings, teachings, and prizes, like the Nobel Peace Prize, prove that he is an outstanding short story writer, and “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy” was an excellent example of his work.
Higgins, Richard. “At 80, Issac Bashevis Singer Still Entertains and Instructs.” Boston Globe 9 Nov. 1984.
“Issac Bashevis Singer”. Nobel Hecters. 1968-1980. (21 Feb.
Rabb, Christina. “Singer’s Stories are for Everyone.” Boston Globe. 16 Nov. 1984:Living p.71.
Rabb, Christina. “Singer’s Many Dimensions of Love.” Boston Globe. 26 July 1985: Living p. 39.
Ziokwska, Boehm Alesandra. “Interviews: Issac Bashevis Singer.” Sarmatin Review XV111.1 Singer