Isaac Bashevis Singer: Speak English, Think Yiddish-- Adaptation versus Assimilation.

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Gardberg, Susan L.
immigrant experience; Arts and Humanities; English Language and Literature
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thesis / dissertation description
Critics use the words "vanished culture" to describe Isaac Bashevis Singer's work for Polish Jewry had been destroyed. However, Singer's characters survive the travails of anti-Semitism and resettle in America. This study explores Singer's Polish Jews to determine whether they assimilate into their new culture; or maintain their strong Jewish traditions and adapt to the freedoms of America.Singer's life is analyzed, including the people and places that have influenced his work. Two of Singer's works are examined in this thesis. Chapters Three and Four explicate an allegorical short story, "The Little Shoemakers." Singer writes a fairytale view of a magnificent rejuvenation in the new world. Chapters Five and Six explore the realistic portrait of Jewish transplants in the novel, Enemies, A Love Story. Chapter Seven concludes that belief in the Jewish faith, along with the love of freedom, allow Singer's characters to adapt, not assimilate, to foreign soil.