Oklahoma State University History Questions

Oklahoma State University History Questions

Question Description

I’m working on a history writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

1. The subtitle of Bread Givers is “A Struggle Between a Father of the Old World and a

Daughter of the New.” Describe that struggle in detail, and explain the differences author

Anzia Yezierska sees between the “Old” and “New” worlds.

2. In the last sentence of the book Sara Smolinsky says, “It wasn’t just my father, but the

generations who made my father whose weight was still upon me.” What does she mean?

3. Describe Sara’s conception of what it means to be an American, and the steps she took to

become more fully integrated into American life. In the end, did she fulfill her quest or

find that her goal of being fully ‘Americanized’ was elusive?

4. How did Sara’s life differ from that of her sisters? Do their specific fates each help us

understand the limited social and employment opportunities available to immigrant

women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century? How?

5. Some critics have argued that Bread Gives is really a story about autonomy, about Sara’s

attempt to gain control over her own life in the face of her father’s attempts to control her

and the reality of American society. Does she gain autonomy in the end? Do you think

her struggle was worth the personal cost? And finally, is Sara’s battle against her own

family and society relevant in the America we live in today? How? Why?