Fiddler on the Roof Themes

Joseph Stein
This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Fiddler on the Roof.
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Custom and Tradition

Tradition is central to Fiddler on the Roof. All of the Jewish villagers look to tradition as a guide in their lives. Tradition dictates that a matchmaker aid in the arranging of marriages, not that couples decide for themselves who and when they will to marry. Custom dictates that only men dance at weddings, not that men ask women to dance. Tradition also regulates dress, food consumption, and who can interact with whom—especially in regard to Jewish/Russian relations. While Tevye upholds these traditions to the best of his ability, the times are changing and the old way of doing things comes under repeated questioning.

Perchik is the most vocal advocate of change, arguing that people must adapt to survive in the evolving world. Yet tradition dictates an ignorance of the outside world. Perchik tries to break through this ignorance to prepare people for the...

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This section contains 694 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Fiddler on the Roof Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Fiddler on the Roof from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.