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A Summer's Reading
Transcript of A Summer's Reading
by Bernard Malamud By Bernard Malamud Background information on the era
Between the years 1880-1914, some four million Italians immigrated to America, mostly from the poor southern parts of Italy. Because they came with very little education, many of them made their living as unskilled workers, and because they had families to support both in America and sometimes back home in Italy as well, they often did not have the time to get a better education. It was only their children or grandchildren, the second and third generations, who were able to improve their lives.
20-30 of the 20th century- period of “The Great Depression” New York Italian
Working-class neighborhood “A period of The Great "Depression George, Sophie, Mr. Cattanzara The meaning of Stoyonovich in Polish is "Staying in one place". The meaning of Cattanzara in Italian is "Chained to a place". Early life Bernard Malamud was born on April 26, 1914, in Brooklyn, New York, the first of Max and Bertha Fidelman Malamud's two sons. His parents, whom he described as "gentle, honest, kindly people," had come to the United States from Russia in the early 1900s and ran their own grocery store. They were not highly educated and knew very little about literature or the arts. "There were no books that I remember in the house, no records, music, pictures on the wall," Malamud said. Malamud liked to read and to attend a local Yiddish (the language spoken by Jews in Europe) theater. He began to try to write stories of his own. Malamud attended high school in Brooklyn and received his bachelor's degree from the City College of New York in 1936. After graduation he worked in a factory and as a clerk at the Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. Although he wrote in his spare time, Malamud did not begin writing seriously until hearing of the horrors of the Holocaust, when the Germans, led by Adolf Hitler (1889–1945), put six million Jewish people to death during World War II (1939–45; a war in which Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States battled Germany, Italy, and Japan). Malamud also began reading about Jewish traditions and history. In 1949 he started teaching at Oregon State University. He left this post in 1961 to teach creative writing at Bennington College in Vermont, where he remained until shortly before his death. Malamud continued to place stories in top American magazines. Lots of his stories deal with Jewish themes.
Malamud gave few interviews, but those he did grant provided the best insight into his work, as when he told Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times:
"People say I write so much about misery, but you write about what you write best." Analysis and Interpretation
The protagonist is the main character in the story who needs to overcome something in order to reach his or her goal. George is the protagonist in the story.
1. What are George’s goals?
1. What are George’s goals?
2. What forces must George overcome in order to reach his goals? Consider George’s personality, his family and his environment. Symbolism is the use of concrete image(symbol) to represent an abstract idea.
Mr. Cattanzara is a “change maker”.
Explain both the literal and symbolic meaning.
1. Literal meaning
2. Symbolic meaning Comparing and Contrasting means:
Finding similarities between two or more things (comparing).
Finding differences between two or more things (contrasting).
Drawing conclusions based on these similarities and differences.
accepting ashamed caring dissatisfied encouraging hard-working immature impulsive intelligent kind lazy lonely proud sensitive wise
Compare and contrast the two main characters in the story. Complete the graphic organizer using the words from the list: George goes to the library. George is in good mood. Mr.Cattanzara discovers his lie. George wants people to respect him. 1. Complete the graphic organizer using the thinking skill of Explaining Cause and Effect.
Cause Effect 2. George experiences many emotions as the story progresses.
Find the following and explain what causes him to feel each emotion.