Duddy Kravitz Essay Research Paper Reach for

Duddy Kravitz Essay, Research Paper Reach for the stars, is a common phrase many children hear in their life, whether by parents or role models in their lives. If a person

Duddy Kravitz Essay, Research Paper

Reach for the stars, is a common phrase many children hear in their

life, whether by parents or role models in their lives. If a person

puts their mind to a task at hand they can accomplish it most of the

time, but when the goal is achieved and the path is taken to achieve

the goal is crowded with hate and lies, the question arises; was it all

worth it? In Mordecai Richler^s novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy

Kravitz, Duddy Kravitz, his uncle Benjy and Jerry Dingleman (The Boy

Wonder), are all able to achieve their life long dreams, but we must

examine if their sacrifices were worthy of the prize. Benjy strived

his entire life to create a profitable business, raise a family, and

make his father, Simcha, proud to be his father. Now, Benjy was able to

make his business grow and become beneficial to all that were close to

him. He was able to provide his nephew, Lennie, with a University

education to help him on his way to becoming a doctor, and also gave

Duddy a job working at his factory. These sound like descent things to

do for your own family, however when Duddy worked for Benjy he never

treated him with respect. This treatment towards Duddy did not help

Benjy^s reputation with Duddy, who already thought Benjy favoured

Lennie. As well, sending Lennie to University was a very thoughtful and

expensive thing to do for him, but according to Duddy, ^Lennie never

wanted to be a doctor^ You forced him!^(241).


This idea of Lennie never wanting to be a doctor was evident when he

ran away from school. Lennie could not take the pressure put on him by

Benjy, but he wanted to make Benjy proud and by doing so almost got

kicked out of school and ruined his life. The reason that Benjy was

doing all this for his nephews was because he could not have any

children, with his wife due to complications. Benjy started out doing

something nice but ended up trying to live his life through his

brothers. In the end Benjy attains cancer and is sinking towards death

with no one to inherit his life long achievement, his factory. No one

will take over his business in the family because Lennie is too busy,

Max-his brother- is too uninformed about it and Duddy has a certain

disliking for him. Duddy had lost his respect for Benjy due to the fact

that Benjy always ridiculed him. Benjy made his father Simcha believe

he had failed as a father because Benjy is nothing with all his money.

After all of Benjys hard work and determination he cannot even pass the

business on in the family because of his treatment of others on the way

to and at the top. Duddy wanted to own land after hearing his grandpa

say, ^A man without land is nobody^(48). To achieve this goal he led a

crooked life; even as a child he conned companies. By doing odd jobs

like this he does gain experience for life but he has no where to go

with this kind of experience except down. Then when he was able to find

the land he desired he did everything possible to retrieve the land. He

tried to be like Jerry Dinglemen at first, but he himself led a crime

filled life; taking advantage of innocent people, and dealing drugs.

His life was never very legal and he was always looking behind his

back, and this was Duddy^s role mode.


Also, Duddy had lost the respect and trust of his close friends and

family in his journey to achieve his land. He lost the approval of his

friends when he became too self-indulged and forgot all about Yvette

and Virgil. He then lost all trust in everyone when he purchased the

last bit of land, by stealing the money from Virgil, and then refusing

the help of anyone else. The worst part about his losses was that he

was warned on many different occasions, for example, ^You^re too sure

of yourself^(120) and ^I knew you^d get your fingers burnt one

day^(251). Even Benjy realized that he, himself, had gone wrong but

Duddy did not heed his warnings, ^I was wrong because there was more,

much more^(228). He was warned on countless occasions to take it slow

but it did not work. All the effort Duddy put towards his life was to

make his grandfather proud, but he ended up hurting him and losing his

respect. These dreams of the characters were completed but were the

consequences worth the struggle? There is no suggestion that one should

not follow their dreams and pursue goals of life, but it makes the

reader think. Benjy realized his struggle was not worth the end result

but it was too late. Jerry Dinglemen, unfortunately may never learn

that his life of felony is not worth the hassles. The life of a

criminal can end in an instant and you could be left with nothing, left

to die a lonely man. Duddy still may have the chance to reconcile with

his family if he tries really hard because he still has much time left

in his life. He has to realize that material things are not everything

and family and friends are much more important.