Bread Givers

history class

i want to know about the book

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The novel's setting is the Lower East Side of New York City during the 1920's. It tells the story of a young Jewish woman (orthodox) who wants to break free of what is considered the "traditional" role of women in her religious and cultural society.

Our main character, Sara Smolinksy, is the youngest daughter of a rabbi. As the youngest, she watches her father marry her sisters off into less than desirable circumstances, and she herself vows to escape this fate. She begins by leaving home, taking a job as an ironer, and renting a room with a door: "This door was life. It was air. The bottom starting-point of becoming a person." Sara's rebelliousness and struggle for self-fulfillment is ongoing. She embraces education, work, and desire for a marriage dictated by love not contract.


Bread Givers