Back close

The Predicament of a Jew in Defence of his Race

Publisher : Journal of International Research For Multidisciplinary

Campus : Coimbatore

School : School of Engineering

Department : English & Humanities

Verified : Yes

Year : 2014

Abstract : Human beings are subject to pressures of circumstances which become the inevitable and inescapable aspects of existence. During the escond World War, innumerable Jews were killed in the name of religion under the reign of Hitler. The later part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century witnessed the Holocaust that shook Germany, Russia, Poland and Spain leading to a mass exodus of Jews from Central Europe to America. The tragic history of Jews is evident in the ghettos of Germany, the pogroms of Russia, the political oppression in Rumania and other countries. In spite of being oppressed by the majority, Jews have exhibited extraordinary resilience to maintain their ethnic identity. The Jewish writers of the 20th century like Philip Roth, J.D. Salinger, Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamud have combined their cultural background with their creative imagination to show how the characters’ moral vision based on compassion can overcome the complexity and disorder of modern life. The present study aims at highlighting the protagonist’s transformation and search for self-identity thorough suffering in Malamud's novel, The Fixer. Moral wisdom gained through suffering on the one hand and influenced by religion and society on the other is demonstrated through the protagonist, Yakov Bok, who by refusing to confess and betray the Russian Jews, accepts responsibility for the Jewish community and becomes actively involved in the fate of his people. He reflects the sufferings experienced by the East European Jews during the Nazi regime. In the beginning, Bok desires security and status, but towards the end, renounces these objectives after discovering the true meaning of love, moral commitment, responsibility and freedom. He assumes a firm moral stance againstthe unsympathetic social and political forces which tend to prevent all his endeavours to protect the dignity of the Jews.

Admissions Apply Now