The Spinoza of Market Street Themes

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A central theme of this story is the conflict between the ideas put forth in modern philosophy (such as that of Spinoza), and the ancient beliefs held by Orthodox Chassidic Judaism. The protagonist, who considers himself a Jew, is alienated from the Jewish community of the shtetl in which he lives due to his unorthodox ideas derived from modern philosophy. Because of this, Dr. Fischelson is fired from his job as the synagogue librarian, and considered to be a "heretic" or a "convert" by the members of his community. As in many of his stories, Singer explores the theme of the Jew caught between the Enlightenment of the modern secular world and the ancient beliefs of Chassidic Judaism.

Redemption through Passion

Singer's characters often find some sort of solution to their alienation through the experience of sexual passion. Dr. Fischelson attempts to live by the "rational...

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This section contains 651 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Spinoza of Market Street Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Spinoza of Market Street from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.