How is the summer for the old Berls in “The Son From America”?

In “The Son From America,” Berl and Berlcha are content with their lives in their little home with their simple possessions. They want for nothing. In the summers, they rise early and go to bed with the chickens. In the winters, they enjoy silent rest by the fire. Their life is tranquil and satisfying.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In “The Son From America,” Berl and Berlcha live a simple life. They have everything they need, and they are satisfied with their little cottage, their half-acre field, and their chickens, goat, and cow. They have enough clothing, which they wear no matter what the season. They have some furniture and shelves, a woodshed and an oven. They have food. They even have candles for the Sabbath.

In the summers, the couple rises with the sun and goes to bed with the chickens. In the winters, they enjoy their evenings before the fire as Berlcha spins and Berl keeps her company. They appreciate the silence and simplicity of their lives. They want nothing. They have all they need no matter what the season. They are comfortable.

Berl and Berlcha have a son named Samuel, who went to America years and years ago. He writes to them and sends them money, but Berl always hides the money away rather than spending it. He has nothing to spend it on, he thinks. One day a nobleman shows up before the little cottage. The old couple does not even recognize him, but he is their son, Samuel.

Samuel has come with big plans. He has plenty of money, and he wants to improve the little village where his parents have lived for so long, perhaps enlarge the synagogue or build a home for the elderly. Samuel soon realizes, though, that the people of the village want none of his improvements. Like his parents, they are happy with their simple life. They want for nothing. Samuel realizes that there is no way to improve on that.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial