The Magic Barrel | Critical Essay by Theodore C. Miller

This literature criticism consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis & critique of The Magic Barrel.
This section contains 1,009 words
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SOURCE: "The Minister and the Whore: An Examination of Bernard Malamud's 'The Magic Barrel'," in Studies in the Humanities, Vol. 3, 1972, pp. 43-4.

Miller is an educator. In the following essay, he discusses Malamud's focus on love in "The Magic Barrel."

Although Bernard Malamud has colored his short story "The Magic Barrel" with the language and the manners of the Jewish ghetto, he also makes use of a cultural past that has a closer relationship to Nathaniel Hawthorne and Blaise Pascal than to Sholem Aleichem.

Malamud, of course, is using the same motif that Hawthorne mined in The Scarlet Letter—the love of the minister and the whore. Hawthorne's Dimmesdale, the man of God, was destroyed because he could not accept Hester and her emblem of sexual transgression. In Malamud's story too, Leo Finkle, the young rabbinical student, is at first repelled when he...

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This section contains 1,009 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Theodore C. Miller
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Critical Essay by Theodore C. Miller from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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