The Promise Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the neighborhood in which the narrator lives at the opening of the The Promise.

In the first three pages, the narrator, as of yet unnamed, introduces the reader to his small Jewish neighborhood in the Jewish section of Brooklyn. It had been inhabited by a few Hasidic sects.

2. How does the narrator's neighborhood change in the early 1950s?

By 1950, the population had exploded, because Jews were migrating from lands where they were persecuted. The community began to rebuild and new institutions of education were created.

3. What are the narrator's plans for his schooling and what were the influences on his choice?

The narrator decides to go into rabbinical school--probably because he grew up among orthodox Jewish believers and his father was writing a book on the Talmud.

4. Who does the narrator meet in Spring of 1950 that changes his view some about his religion?

The narrator meets Rachel Gordon at a party in the Spring of 1950. Rachel is the niece of Professor Abraham Gordon, who teaches Jewish philosophy and is hated by the orthodoxy.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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