The Roles Portrayed by the Kravitz Family
In the novel “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” by Mordecai Richler, we were introduced to the family of the Kravitz. Although they seem to be an ordinary Jewish family, the Kravitz family played extraordinary roles in the novel, the greatest of which is Duddy. The rest of the family members, on the other hand, also got their significant roles in the story. Through the interactions that happened between them, the members of the Kravitz family shared the related and almost the same conflicts and problems. One of the interactions that we would try to delve on is the interaction between the siblings Duddy and Lennie Kravitz.
The Kravitz family is an extended family. It is composed of Simcha, the grandfather of the family; Max and Minnie Kravitz, parents of Duddy and Lennie; and Duddy and Lennie, the siblings of Max and Minnie, and Benjy and Ida Kravitz, Duddy’s uncle and auntie. The family is just poor and living in Montreal Quebec. Minnie, Duddy and Lennie’s mother already died. Max, on the other hand, is a taxi driver. Simcha, the grandfather, is one of Duddy’s major influencers. In fact, he was the one who told Duddy that the latter should pursue his dreams and rise up from poverty.
Lennie Kravitz is the older brother of Duddy. Although he is the older one, Duddy seems to be more serious than him, especially when it comes to pursuing their goals in life. Lennie became an abortionist while Duddy had put up his own business in the area of movies. This would probably be pointed with the way the two were raised. As Duddy was growing up, he saw how his father’s attention and love for Lennie differ with the love and attention allotted to him. He also saw how his Uncle Benjie loves and favors Lennie over him. Some of the little evidence that could be found in the book is the idea that Max wrote to Lennie every week when the latter was assigned as a camp counselor in a place far from Quebec. In comparison, Max never wrote anything to Lenny when he was working in the Laurentian Mountains. The result of this upbringing has something to do with the way Duddy and Lennie faced the problems in their lives. Duddy, because of the lack of attention he got from his father, grew to be strong and tricky. On the other hand, Lennie grew up to be proud but not good at all.
This is the main reason why Duddy managed to solve the conflict of his older brother with Mr. Calder. In this particular part of the story, Duddy’s help was very significant. It was because Mr. Calder saw him as a powerful guy, knowing all the money and properties that Duddy was possessing. Mr. Calder even attempted to befriend Duddy, but the latter refused because he was unwilling to set aside business. This only show how tricky was the personality of Duddy. However, this trickiness was the same thing which made him possessed al the wealth he had. This trickiness was also the same thing that could make him the hope of the Kravitz family. In the novel, he was able to show his characteristics that made him reach is current status in life. Although the land he had owned in the end was not a product of labor but of trickery, it is still safe to say that Duddy was successful in his goal to find a land of his own. He had lived according to his grandfather’s saying: “ A man without land is nobody ” (Richler, 27). In addition, Duddy could be said as the hope of the Kravitz family because of his capacity to help other members of the family when faced with problems.
Richler, Mordecai. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. New York: Penguin, 1992