The Prison Questions and Answers

The Prison

Imprisonment by life’s circumstances is the main theme of “The Prison: A Story,” by Bernard Malamud. Although there are allusions to Tommy’s past, when he was Tony, as a petty teenaged criminal, he...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2015 6:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prison

It looks like you are referring to Tommy Castelli, the candy store owner in Bernard Malamud's short story, The Prison. Tommy Castelli is a reformed juvenile delinquent. At the age of twenty-nine,...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2015 8:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prison

Bernard Malamud's short story highlights the complexity inherent in intimate relationships and the unhappiness strained relationships engender. The story also shows that being in an unhappy...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2015 3:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prison

Bernard Malamud's title "The Prison" works on a number of levels. As has been suggested, Tommy's situation includes various types of prisons in the form of "the unendurably slow hours and endless...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2018 6:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prison

Because Tommy never wanted the candy store or his marriage to Rosa—he "wouldn't spit on a candy store" the first time his would-be father-in-law offered it to him—it seems that this life, including...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2019 8:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prison

Tommy's trying to do the right thing by installing a slot machine in his father-in-law's candy store. He figures that it'll bring in more customers. Also, it'll provide Tommy and Rosa with a little...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2019 6:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prison

"The Prison" is a short story by Jewish-American author Bernard Malamud from his 1958 anthology The Magic Barrel. In the story, a young man named Tommy Castelli feels stifled by his life and...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2012 12:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Prison

In the story, Malamud memorably portrays suffering by highlighting the many instances Tommy Castelli is thwarted and defeated in his efforts to improve his life. The author focuses on Tommy's...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2016 3:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Prison

I would like to discuss the prison theme a little more and expand on how Tommy's long work hours are a symbol of his defeat and his entrapment. As a young boy, Tommy Castelli fantasized about...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2015 9:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Prison

When you think about, it Tommy Castelli's lead a pretty charmed life. (Though he wouldn't agree; at the age of twenty-nine he thinks his life is a "screaming bore"). Many other young men of his age...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2019 12:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer