The Apprenticeshipof Duddy Kravitz is the fourthnovel by Canadian author Mordecai Richler.
It was first published in 1959. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,published by Mordecai Richler has long been regarded as one of the mostimportant Canadian novels. TheApprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is the story of an enthusiastic Jewish boygrowing up in an underprivileged neighbourhood in Montreal. It is both aportrait of a young man who is desperately determined to be successful and ofthe various communities he must deal with in his journey working-class Jewish,French Canadian, and Anglo-Saxon establishment. The novel opens in 1947, whileDuddy is still in high school. He creates havoc throughout his neighbourhood,tormenting various people who has insulted or offended him. (enotes1) DuddyKravitz is obsessed with money, power and land. With the obsession of power andmoney we see the theme of greed starting to progress from the very beginning.
Greed can be applied to situations where there is a passionate desire forfortune and wealth. In the novel greed is shown by his relations with hisfriends and even with what he was told as a young child. Duddy Kravitz grows upin the “ghetto” a part of a city, especially a slum area, occupied by aminority group or groups. In the ghetto there are characters who are not thegreatest influence on the major character. Since the novel takes place in 1947,the Jewish people are seen as the minorities even after the second world war.In this case, where Duddy grows up, it is full of Jewish and other minoritygroups. Considering that the novel takes place in the life of Duddy Kravitz,there are many times in which case there are controversial characters whoinfluence Duddy’s decisions in a negative way.
With these characters they leadDuddy, to the wrong decisions. Finally, the last major theme or topic in thenovel is the theme of stereotyping. As mentioned above, the Kravitz’s grew upin Montreal’s ghetto. The Kravitz were a Jewish family in 1947, which was anegative period for all Jewish people, after the second world war which endedin 1945. The main case of stereotyping, was how Jews were represented as cheap,liars and will do anything to make an extra dollar or two.
Richler usescharacters in this book to display their culture and expose their stereotypes.To conclude, Duddy Kravitz is a young man whom we can say is being anapprentice to life. What he needs to obtain in the course of the novel is thetruth about himself and how to apply it to his life. His journey to accept the apprenticeshipstarts by finding identity and to succeed in the goals that he sets forhimself.
This might lead to wrong decisions which leads back to greed,stereotypes and the people in which he hangs around with.