Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots Themes

Deborah Feldman
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Repression

Throughout her memoir, the author uses accounts of her childhood, young adulthood, and early marriage to explore the effects of a repressive religious upbringing and community on the individual's identity and understanding of the world. Having been born into an Orthodox Jewish family, the strictures and confines of the Hasidic community were all Deborah knew. Her childhood was not only defined by her atypical parental structure, but by her family's expectations of her as a young Orthodox Jewish woman. Silence and modesty were emphasized as virtues for young women. Girls were meant to vessels of the soul, their bodies negligible, even sinful, if exposed.

The strain of repression is visible in Deborah's life from an early age, as her natural desires to express herself clashed with unhealthy, repressive strictures. In Chapter 1, the author speaks to her difficulty to keep her mouth closed, to adhere to the prescribed expectations...

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This section contains 2,136 words
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Buy the Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots Study Guide
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