These details help to give the story the plain and timeless quality of the folk tale or Biblical narrative.
Feld admires a student, Max, because the younger man is pursuing an education, something Feld always wanted for his daughter. Eventually, he asks Max to go on a date with his daughter, much to the chagrin of his assistant, Sobel. Sobel has been diligently working for Feld for the past five years, biding his time to ask Miriam out.
The broad theme of the story relates to individuality and social status. Decision-Making Because he wants the best for his daughter, Feld believes it is in his power to make decisions for her, first in terms of whether or not she should receive an education and eventually in terms of whom she should date.
Neither decision works out for either Feld or Miriam. Malamud uses the tension between father and daughter to explore the connection between individuality and decision-making. In this exploration, Malamud reveals that for an individual to fully count as independent, she must be allowed to make her own life decisions.
He uses his own life as an uneducated cobbler as a basis for this belief. He does not take into consideration, however, the fact that he is an exceptionally well-read man, as is his daughter, as is his apparently lowly assistant, Sobel.
Appearance and Reality On the face of it, Sobel appears to be a lowly assistant, while Max appears to be an up-and-coming young businessman.
In reality, Sobel is thoughtful and intelligent, and Max is boring and brutish. The difference between how Sobel and Max appear and how they are is a significant thematic element to the story.
Eventually, Feld is able to see past the appearances of each character, ultimately rejecting Max as a possible suitor for his daughter, and accepting Sobel.
Wealth and Happiness Though his actions are somewhat misguided, ultimately Feld has noble goals for his daughter: Feld equates wealth with happiness, and as he is just a struggling cobbler, he wants Miriam to be wealthier, and thus happier, than he has been.
This is why he initially rejects Sobel as a potential suitor; after all, Sobel is also a cobbler and an apprentice at that. In the story's climax, Feld realizes that even though Sobel is not wealthy, he is happy and prosperous.
By proxy, therefore, Feld becomes aware of his own happiness once he is finally able to disassociate happiness from wealth. Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article.By Bernard Malamud Shelby Kevin Steven The First Seven Years The Summary: Feld is one of the main characters who runs a shoemaker shop that only has one employee, Sobel.
Feld has a daughter named Miriam whom he wishes to attend college, but she refuses. The First Seven Years. Bernard Malamud Author Biography. Plot Summary.
Characters. Themes. Style. Historical Context. Critical Overview. Criticism. Sources. Further Reading. Written in , “The First Seven Years” was published in Bernard Malamud’s first collection of short stories, The Magic Barrel, in The story is about Feld, a Jewish shoemaker who seeks a suitable husband for his daughter .
Bernard Malamud’s short story “The First Seven Years” tells the tale of a humble cobbler, Feld, and his daughter Miriam. Feld admires a student, Max, because the younger man is pursuing an education, something Feld always wanted for his daughter.
Feld is a Polish Jewish immigrant shoemaker.
He has lived in America for many years although he spent his youth in a village in Poland. He has labored hard to establish his business and has had some modest success—he can afford to send his daughter to college, for example.
“The First Seven Years” is a short story that was written in It later appeared in Malamud’s first collection of short stories, The Magic Barrel, in The narrative tells the story of Feld, a Jewish shoemaker who is searching for a suitable husband for his daughter. The First Seven Years by Bernard Malamud 21 Jun Dermot Bernard Malamud Cite Post In The First Seven Years by Bernard Malamud we have the theme of desire, love, insecurity, conflict, independence, appearance and change.