Comparison of The Importance of Family in "Bread Givers", by Anzia Yezierska, and the movie "Avalon"

Essay by ash999Junior High, 9th grade December 2006

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The Importance of Family

Bread Givers, a novel by Anzia Yezierska, is about a family who immigrates to the US from Russia. When they arrive to the US, they find themselves dealing with many struggles: one of them being keeping the family together. Similar to the Bread Givers is the movie Avalon in which one man, Sam Kirchinsky, immigrates to the US from Russia also. Once Sam establishes his family in the US, they also deal with the struggle of keeping their family together. In both the novel and movie, at first the families are very closely-knit because they understand the importance of family. Yet when one immigrates, they must realize change is necessary. One of the changes happens to be that the strength of the bond between family members decreases. Eventually though, they begin to realize that in order to preserve their past and what they stand for they have to at least try to remain a family.

In the beginning of Bread Givers, the Smolinsky family is living together even though not everyone in the household is satisfied with how things are going. The father in the house believes that all women are below him and that his only duty as father is to marry off his daughters and read the Holy Torah. Because of this his daughters and wife have a hard time living with him; "'Woman! when will you stop darkening the house with your worries?' 'When I'll have a man who does the worrying. Does it ever enter your head that the rent was not paid the second month? You're so busy working for Heaven that I have to suffer here such bitter hell'" (Yezierska 10). Though it is very apparent that the women are suffering because of the father, he...