Duddy's Aprenticeship

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Duddy's Apprenticeship Throughout Duddys adolescence he encounters and associates himself with a number of different characters. Each character influences his ideas and thoughts and they form his morals. The settings and atmospheres also played a part in molding the cruel selfish Duddy Kravitz. Whether they wanted or meant to or not Duddy was apprenticed by certain important people throughout his upbringing. The three primary factors in Duddy's apprenticeship are his experiences in the film business, his relationship with Yvette and The Hotel Lac de Sable where he worked for a summer. The way in which Duddy was apprenticed was not intentional, it was a combination of his cold way of viewing life and the experiences his selfish drive for success dragged him through.

After earning money working in Uncle Benjy's factory and at the Hotel Las de Sable Duddy returned to Outremont with his heart set on purchasing a lake and the surrounding land in the Appalachian Mountains area.

With his blinders on, Duddy searches for ways of making money and producing Bar mitzvah and wedding movies was one of his ventures "I'm going into the film business here myself"p.114. Engaging in a partnership with Mr. Friar an artistic acclaimed movie producer the apprenticeship begins. Partnerships are important in business, this is one of the lessons Duddy learns, Duddy is not artistic, he can't work a camera or lighting "I don't know a camera from a horses ass"p.116, all he has is money and a dream. Perhaps Duddy learned this particular lesson the hard way when Mr. Friar fled and left Duddy and the business with nothing "Mr. Friar has disappeared"p.199. In trying to sell his films, Duddy experiments with bargaining and bartering techniques" I can make you a black and white for 1200"p.124. Lying also played a big role in selling his films "what a liar you are"p.125, when Mr. Cohen purchased the first film Duddy lied to Mr. Friar about what their profits would be just to make the sale "Tell him I'm paying you 2000"p.125. These lessons become part of his personality and he practices them quite often not only business. Unfortunately his personality cost him Yvette, his Friday girl.

Yvette and Duddy met at the Hotel Lac de Sable, right off the bat Duddy and her fell in love, she was the one who showed Duddy the lake he wanted to buy. Yvette's role in Duddy's apprenticeship was primarily teaching him about pleasing people, namely her in this relationship. Duddy however attempts to use techniques he learns with Yvette in the business world. Having god relations with a number of people and pleasing everyone is important in business. In Duddy and Yvette's relationship Duddy shows this trait when Yvette is upset with him. After meeting Virgil, Duddy does not have much liking for him, however Yvette takes to Virgil well and she cares for him very much. Duddy notices this and trying to impress Yvette he offers Virgil a job with a good salary. Yvette doesn't see though that Duddy already owes Virgil money and wants Virgil to buy a truck to for company services. So, as Duddy is always trying to impress and get others to like him there is always something in it for him. This is an obvious theme in his experiences working at the Hotel Lac de Sable.

At the Hotel Lac de Sable, Duddy worked for an entire summer and it was here he discovered his calling in life, which was to own a piece of land show to him by Yvette. In an attempt to increase his earning for the summer, Duddy organizes a game of roulette in which he will use his earning thus far as the bank. He borrows a board from Irwin, his chamber mate and Irwin, knowing his board well, swindles Duddy out of the three hundred dollars he had worked for "That's when Irwin sat down at the table and began to play earnest"p.87. The other guys working at the hotel for the summer force Irwin to pay him back the three hundred he had cheated out of Duddy "Irwin handed over his winnings"p.92. At the same time, the clients staying at the hotel compiled 500 dollars, which they presented to Duddy because they were afraid he might hurt himself "there's no telling what he might do"p.89. The lesson learned here by Duddy is that he can take advantage of kind people. Duddy did not even think twice about refusing the clients money. Later on Duddy takes advantage of Virgil by forging his signature onto a check and stealing money.

All together his experiences in combination with his self-centered greedy attitude duddy becomes a very evil person. The way in which Duddy was apprenticed was not intentional, it was a combination of his cold way of viewing life and the experiences his selfish drive for success dragged him through. Not only did single people apprentice Duddy but also his experiences through adolescence lead into his maturity.