Please help me write a paragraph about Sobel's transformation from a quiet and passive shoemaker to a confident man who knows exactly what he wants in the story "The First Seven Years." Include...

Please help me write a paragraph about Sobel's transformation from a quiet and passive shoemaker to a confident man who knows exactly what he wants in the story "The First Seven Years." Include details to support this claim and a conclusion. 

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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Bernard Malamud’s "The First Seven Years" is a short story frequently taught in high school.  While most students don’t find it to be particularly exciting, it is a very good character study, especially of the two main characters: Feld and his employee Sobel.

If I were writing about how Sobel changed during the course of the story (which, by the way, makes him a “dynamic character,” a term you might want to include in your writing), I would look at how the narrator describes the first interaction between Feld and Sobel, when Feld hires him.  What does this tell the reader about Sobel?

To show how he changed I would write about Sobel’s breaking of the last (in the shoe shop) when he realizes that Feld is setting up a date between Miriam and Max. What does his anger reveal that Feld does not yet understand? I would also use some direct quotes from the scene near the end of the story when Feld and Sobel have their angry argument. Explain how Sobel’s participation in this argument shows his development from a quiet man to a forceful man, at least as far as Miriam is concerned.

A good conclusion might include a reference to the story’s last paragraph, when Sobel returns to the shop. Reflect on how this demonstrates the story’s theme as Sobel shows his willingness and ability to master his own anger to win Miriam. 

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