The Magic Barrel | Critical Essay by Carmen Cramer

This literature criticism consists of approximately 6 pages of analysis & critique of The Magic Barrel.
This section contains 1,607 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "The Americanization of Leo Finkle," in Cuyahoga Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall, 1983, pp. 143-47.

In the following essay, Cramer interprets "The Magic Barrel" as the story of Finkle's conversion from Jewish to American traditions.

The old world tone of Malamud's "The Magic Barrel" belies the action of the story. In various terms, it is usually considered an initiation story which also presents mystical elements of Jewish culture, a typical "Jewish comedy." However, the action of the story actually follows the Americanization, not the maturation, of a young man. Leo Finkle, although from Cleveland and living in New York City, represents the "ancient and honorable … Jewish community." He possesses few of the typical American traits—decisiveness, emotionality, actionorientation—but he melts into the American pot by the end of Bernard Malamud's polished piece of writing, "The Magic Barrel."

Leo Finkle follows tradition well...

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This section contains 1,607 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Carmen Cramer
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Critical Essay by Carmen Cramer from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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