Print Сite this

Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis

Summary

“Defender of the Faith” is an original story about a Jewish American Army Sergeant Nathan Marx who resists attempted manipulation by a trainee Jew Sheldon Grossbart to exploit their mutual ethnicity for a particular benefit. The fiction focuses on the conflict between two powerful characters, Marx and Grossbart. They are both Jews involved in the war but take opposing approaches to their religious and military life. Jewry or “sense of Jewishness” (Roth 651) and World War II serve as the story’s main themes. While Grossbart evokes emotions in people and uses both his religion and his fellow interns to achieve his selfish goals, Marx suppresses his compassion towards Jewish soldiers and victims of the war and tries to stay true to himself and his military duties.

Our experts can deliver a customized essay
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
308 qualified specialists online
Learn more

Another central topic of the story is the role of the “Messiah” during the war. The protagonist Marx is often compared to the Messiah, the savior of his people. He is respected by his comrades and Captain Barrett (Roth 1) for defending Jews and winning over Nazis. On the other hand, Grossbart perceives Messiah as a “collective idea”: “together we’re the Messiah” (Roth 656). By doing so, he once again justifies his selfish motives with a common religion.

Everyday Use

“Everyday Use” is a story told from the perspective of Mama, “a large, big-boned woman” (Walker 913), who has two daughters with opposite characters. Maggie, the youngest one, a more traditional girl, plans to get married soon. Dee, or “Wangero” (Walker 916), is the eldest daughter, who is described as very confident, intelligent, and always pursuing “nice things” (Walker 914). The separative power of education is one of the main topics of the story.

Another central theme is the idea of ​​a person’s relationship with their heritage. Besides form being from the same family, Dee has a different mindset than Maggie and her mother, especially when it comes to preserving cultural heritage. Dee wants family heirlooms to be displayed in her home only because of their “artistic” value (Walker 917); she believes that the right way to preserve the culture is to keep quilts, rather than putting them in “everyday use” (Walker 918). On the other hand, Maggie and her mother treasure these items because they remind them of their loved ones. Therefore, because Maggie can recreate the quilts, she is the one who understands and preserves culture, unlike Dee.

Works Cited

Roth, Philip. “Defender of the Faith.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature 1865-present. Vol. 2 9th ed., edited by Robert S. Levine, Norton, 2017, pp. 644–665.

Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature 1865-present.Vol. 2 9th ed., edited by Robert S. Levine, Norton, 2017, pp. 912–919.

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, October 21). Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/roths-defender-of-the-faith-story-analysis/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, October 21). Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis. https://studycorgi.com/roths-defender-of-the-faith-story-analysis/

Work Cited

"Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis." StudyCorgi, 21 Oct. 2022, studycorgi.com/roths-defender-of-the-faith-story-analysis/.

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis." October 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/roths-defender-of-the-faith-story-analysis/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis." October 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/roths-defender-of-the-faith-story-analysis/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2022. "Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis." October 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/roths-defender-of-the-faith-story-analysis/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Roth’s Defender of the Faith Story Analysis'. 21 October.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.