The Assistant Social Sensitivity

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The Assistant demonstrates Malamud's deep compassion for suffering humanity and his conviction that good rather than evil is the basic human quality. An old -fashioned moral man is contrasted to other people who believe his honesty is out of place in contemporary America. While the novel takes place in post-depression America, the Bobers seem to live in a neighborhood still frozen in the hopelessness of the 1930s, untouched by the prosperity enjoyed by the rest of the country.

The Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle complained that his society was dominated by "cash nexus," the belief that the only viable relationships among people are determined by money. Malamud does not use this term, but he does say that morality and ethical behavior are seen in our time as ideals that have failed, and those who try to practice them are hopelessly lost. The choices of the lifestyle by which Morris...

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This section contains 196 words
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