By Julius Novick (auth.)
Beyond the Golden Door is the 1st booklet dedicated to displaying how Jewish playwrights of the 20th century have dramatized the Jewish stumble upon with the USA. Questions dealt inside this research contain - How do you stability outdated global background with new international chance? What does it suggest to be a Jew - or to be an American, for that matter?
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Extra resources for Beyond the Golden Door: Jewish American Drama and Jewish American Experience
If this life leads to a revolution,” says Jacob, “it’s a good life. ” So, for idealistic Jews, who needed a higher belief and a social ethic to give their lives meaning, Marxism was ideally adapted to fill the vacuum left by the decline of traditional religious belief—a decline accelerated, as 40 Beyond the Golden Door we have seen, by immigration to the treyfene medina. ” Yet Jacob, though he voices a scathing attack on belief in God, is the only person in the play who is in touch with traditional Judaism, the only one, apparently, with any conscious sense of Jewish identity.
Her father Jacob could never keep a job—a fact that she resents bitterly. Money has always been tight, and the Depression has made things worse. Financial insecurity gnaws at her. Bessie scolds Jacob for not believing in God, but what she really believes in is the Yankee Dollar. “You got money and money talks,” she says to her brother Morty. ” To Ralph she says, “here without a dollar you don’t look the world in the eye. ” This being the case, she loads her frustrated yearnings on the back of her son: Ralph should only be a success like you, Morty.
GERTRUDE BERG: ME AND MOLLY (1948) It is striking how few serious plays celebrate the Jewish encounter with America as the great success story that, on many levels, it certainly is. ” For success stories we have to look elsewhere—to light comedy, for instance. , there lived another fictional Jewish family, very similar and very different. The Rise of the Goldbergs—later called just The Goldbergs, but that word “rise” says a lot—was first broadcast in 1929 and remained popular for decades, on the radio and later on television.
Beyond the Golden Door: Jewish American Drama and Jewish American Experience by Julius Novick (auth.)