Goodbye, Columbus Historical Context

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Jewish Holidays

Toward the end of the story, Neil and Brenda agree to spend the weekend of the Jewish holidays together. Specifically, it is during the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year and usually occurs in mid to late September. As the end of summer had indicated the end of their relationship, the story's end on the dawn of the Jewish New Year indicates a sense of rebirth and a fresh, new beginning for Neil.

Mary McCarthy

When Neil first asks Brenda to get a diaphragm, her response is negative. After he suggests she go to "Margaret Sanger, in New York" to get fitted for one, Brenda asks if this is something he's done before. Neil responds, "'I read Mary McCarthy."' When, toward the end of the story, they check into a hotel room together, and Neil asks if she's...

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This section contains 986 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Goodbye, Columbus Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Goodbye, Columbus from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.