Jerry Dingleman's role on Duddy's apprenticeship (in "The apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" by Mordecai Richler)

Essay by Gena_High School, 11th grade March 2005

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Throughout the novel Duddy tries to become someone who deserves respect. He wants to prove everyone that he can become a "somebody" and believes he can make Max and Simcha proud of him. Duddy Kravitz grew up without much support from his family: his mother Minnie died, when he was about six years old, and he doesn't remember anything about her, and Max, his father, clearly preferred Lennie, his older son, to Duddy. Max loved to tell his friends anecdotes about the local gangster, the great Boy Wonder over and over again. "Be like the Boy Wonder", he said to Duddy, encouraging him to become a gangster. Since Duddy was desperately seeking for Max's attention and thought that the only way to win his father's love and respect was to become someone just like Dingleman, Duddy grew up, idolizing Jerry. Duddy has all the qualities he needs to achieve his dream of becoming a landowner, but with Boy Wonder as his role model, he chooses the wrong road towards his goal.

To make others think he is worthy, he starts to crazily pursue money. Even Duddy's role model, Jerry Dingleman comments, "There's something wrong. A mistake somewhere when a boy your age is already pursuing money like he had a hot poker up his ass." (Richler, 161)

Duddy always knew how to take advantage of people in order to get what he wanted. As the leader of the "Warriors," Duddy was able to manipulate his friends as he taught them about stealing, and smoking. They become his protection while Duddy kept on hurting not only his enemies but also innocent people. But after meeting his "hero", Duddel subconsciously obtains most of the Boy Wonder's bad qualities, like ruthlessness and dishonesty. He starts to treat his employees with no...