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Literary Precedents for Gentleman's Agreement

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In Lincoln Steffens's Autobiography (1931), the author's experience parallels that of Phil Green. Steffens describes how, as a young reporter, he is sent by his editor to speak to the proprietor of a hotel, whose practice it is to exclude Jewish clientele. He emerges from the interview with firsthand knowledge of the existence of anti-Semitism in America.

Similarly, in Ludwig Lewisohn's autobiography Up Stream (1922), the author narrates his personal encounters with anti-Semitism. Upon entering Columbia University as a graduate student, he is informed that there are limitations for Jews in the teaching profession, and he is advised to change his professional aspirations.

Anti-Semitism was also dealt with in fictional works preceding Gentleman's Agreement. In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926), Robert Cohn's character is molded by the anti-Semitic experiences he encounters as a student at Princeton. As a result, he develops a marked inferiority complex and in order to...

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This section contains 188 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Gentleman's Agreement Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Gentleman's Agreement from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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