The Magic Barrel | Bates Hoffer

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of The Magic Barrel.
This section contains 6,276 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "The Magic in Malamud's Barrel," in Linguistics in Literature, Vol. 2, 1977, pp. 1-26.

In the following excerpt, Hoffer stresses the need to seriously consider the religious overtones and allusions of "The Magic Barrel," identifying parallels between the first five books of the Old Testament and the structure of the story and arguing that Finkle is a "sinner" rather than a hero.

No synopsis is a substitute for ["The Magic Barrel"]. One is given here in case you have not read the story for some time.

Leo Finkle, a rabbinical student, hears that he may have a chance at a better position if he is married. He approaches Salzman, a poverty-ridden matchmaker who smells of fish, who wears old clothes, and whose suggested brides are not shall we say big winners. After rejecting the few suggested by Salzman, Leo finds a picture in the file of a different girl...

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This section contains 6,276 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Bates Hoffer
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Bates Hoffer from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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