Duddy Kravitz - Successful manipulator? ("The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" by Mordecai Richler)

Essay by Gena_ March 2005

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Throughout the novel, Duddy proves himself as a very smart guy, who has the ability to overcome any obstacles he faces. Bur he is not only good in handling situations, but he is also very skillful in betraying and manipulating people around him. It is unfortunate, that he decides to manipulate the people who truly liked him, Yvette, Cuckoo Kaplan, and Virgil, since these manipulations lead him to the final failure.

Duddy Kravitz starts his apprenticeship in the place where "the boys grew up dirty and sad, spiky also, like grass beside the railroad tracks." (45). From his early years, Duddy starts to make rude jokes on the people in the neighborhood, like Fletcher's Cadets. Duddy is the president of room forty-one at Fletcher's Field High School. It is during his years in FFH, when he learns from his friends that everyone has vulnerable spots, ant that these vulnerabilities of others can be used to his own advantage.

As the leader of the "Warriors," Duddy learns how to manipulate his "weak" friends. He teaches them about stealing, and smoking, as they become his shield, while Duddy continues to hurt not only his enemies but also innocent people who come across his path. And once he starts hurting someone he will not let go, until the maximum damage is done. One person who really suffers from Duddy is his history teacher, Mr. MacPherson. Duddy starts from writing hurtful comments on the board but in the end, it is his phone call that kills MacPherson's wife Jenny. Duddy makes his peers believe that they are also responsible for Duddy's actions: "We're all in this together, you understand?" (39) They think that his jokes are funny and they support him, instead of telling him to stop.

Probably the person who emotionally...