Introduction & Overview of The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud

This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Magic Barrel.
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The Magic Barrel Summary & Study Guide Description

The Magic Barrel Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud.

Bernard Malamud's short story, "The Magic Barrel," was first published in the Partisan Review in 1954, and reprinted in 1958 in Malamud's first volume of short fiction. This tale of a rabbinical student's misadventures with a marriage broker was quite well received in the 1950s, and Malamud's collection of short stories, The Magic Barrel, won the National Book Award for fiction in 1959.

As Malamud attained a reputation as a respected novelist in the 1960s and 1970s, his short stories were widely anthologized and attracted considerable attention from literary students and scholars. A writer in the Jewish-American tradition, Malamud wrote stories that explore issues and themes central to the Jewish community. A love story with a surprising outcome, "The Magic Barrel" traces a young man's struggle to come to terms with his identity and poses the religious question of how people—Jews and others— may come to love God. Is human love, the story asks, a necessary first step to loving God? Malamud's "The Magic Barrel" is a story remarkable for its economy, using just a few strokes to create compelling and complex characters.

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This section contains 184 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Magic Barrel from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.