Duddy's strengths and weaknesses: as a businessman, relative and friend ("The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" by Mordecai Richler)

Essay by grandtoyHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2006

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"A man without land is nobody", and with these words, Duddy Kravitz embarked on a pursuit for his own piece of land. Born in the ghetto with a rusty spoon in his mouth and the spark of rebellion about him, Duddy pits himself against the arid and vile environment and rebels against all forms of silver-spooned authority. In his unrelenting quest towards entrepreneurial triumph, his conflicting roles as a businessman, relative and friend constantly highlights Duddy's strengths and weaknesses - important attributes that eventually lead to his victorious acquisition of land, but tragic failure as a man.

A successful businessman is marked by determination, and this respectable quality is prominently displayed in Duddy; his desire to acquire land is the sole driving force behind his every action. Despite various setbacks such as becoming bankrupt, Duddy was always able to re-embark on his quest for land with renewed confidence, taking each experience to be a lesson well learnt.

Yet, it is his formidable resolve that leads to his unethical and manipulative methods of conducting business, causing him to eventually lose all moral values as well as the respect of people who truly care about him. Another quality of Duddy that helped propel him closer to his goal was his quick-witted and uncanny business sense. This is evident in his ability to manipulate even the oddest of situations to his advantage. For example, after an intimidating but successful attempt at forcing Lennie's whereabouts out of Sandra Calder, Duddy still manages to work a sales pitch into the conversation:

"An independent producer," he said, handing her his card. "Hey, you must know a lot of debutantes like..."

Sandra was still absorbed by his card.

"Listen," Duddy said, "have you ever heard of John Peter Friar?" He told her about him. "We could do...