International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Jewish Literary Tradition in Bernard Malamud’s the Assistant
Dr. Saed Jamil Said Shahwan

Malamud’s characters are judged on the basis of their ability to learn “what it means to be human” from their suffering. This universal conception of suffering piety creates a Jewish identity that is more symbolic than actual. If there has to be a hallmark of American-Jewish literature, a defining quality that may be relied on, it is perhaps the Jewish-American writer’s wish to insist on both arrogance and tolerance, and on self-belief and tragic doubt on the core of his or her work. There is a fundamental tension between self-assertion and self-denial in American-Jewish literature. For this paper, I am taking Bernard Malamud’s novel The Assistant and discussing the Jewish Literary tradition, their ethnicity in respect to the characters of this novel.

Full Text: PDF