What do you think of my third body paragraph for an essay on Bread Givers?Bread Givers focuses on the central theme of poverty. The Smolinsky family immigrates to America from Russia to find a...

What do you think of my third body paragraph for an essay on Bread Givers?

Bread Givers focuses on the central theme of poverty. The Smolinsky family immigrates to America from Russia to find a better life. They leave everything behind except all of Reb’s Holy Scriptures behind. He is the only patriarch of the family and the only male, so he takes it upon himself to not do common work done by men and women, but by doing God’s work by studying the Torah on his leisurely time. He expects his family to live by whatever is in the Torah. When the landlady comes to collect the rent, and finds out they do not have it , she becomes irate. The landlady says “ Hear him only! The dirty do nothing! Go to work yourself! Stop singing prayers. Then you’ll have money for rent!” Reb causes majority of the chaos within his family. Everyone must abide by his rules and please him at any given time of the day. Reb’s children work only to come home and feed his pockets with money. He receives the best meal out of everyone within his home. Everyone else gets the scraps. It is because of him his family is facing the reality of poverty. He leads them into more poverty when he spends a lot of money on store with counterfeit goods. Several characters in this novel have a dream or goal of some sort, but being able to actually make it happen is the hardest part for them all. 

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lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I really liked your previous body paragraph, which briefly touched on the theme of poverty, but here you really add much more detail. 

Sentence One:  For a topic sentence--be sure to relate your sentence to the main purpose and thesis, which is to compare and contrast Bread Givers and Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa.  Add a transition to the start of sentence, something like, "Unlike Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa," Bread Givers focuses..."  This will let the reader know that you are still contrasting the novels, but are going to focus solely on Bread Givers.

Sentence 3: Delete the second behind at the end of the sentence.

Sentence 4: You use only twice here, which can sound repetitive, and instead of using "he," I would change it to Reb.  You also have a split infinitive "to not do," just reword it--"not to do."  (A split infinitive is when you put an adverb in between "to" and the verb.)

sentence 7:  I love that you used an embedded quote!  Great!  Be sure to put the page number at the end, like this: "...money for rent!" (32).

Sentence 8:  Add "the" before "majority"

Sentence 13: Delete "It is" and reword, like "Because of Reb's actions, his family faces..."

Sentence 14: Omit "a lot."  Try to avoid ever using it in formal writing.  Instead, say something like "most of their savings" or "much of their hard-earned money."  I would also recommend changing your verb from "spends" to "wastes."

Sentence 15:  Good sentence because it reconnects with the idea of the Smolinsky girls trying to build a new life for themselves which you mentioned in the introduction. 

Add a more definite concluding sentence, one that addresses the idea of contrasing themes between your two works. 

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think you have a strong starting point here.  My first area of critique would be in the opening sentence.  I certainly think that poverty is part of Bread Givers, but I am not entirely certain that the central theme of the work is poverty.  It's a part of how the work develops, no doubt.  Yet, I sense that the work is more about the conflict between young and old, assimilation versus tradition, and even the condition of feminism and culture.  I think that you could see more of these themes as being "central" to the work than poverty.  This is not saying that you are wrong, but perhaps rewording the opening sentence to suggest that, "One of the central ideas in Bread Givers is its treatment of poverty."  With this, I think that you can talk more about how Sara endures poverty on her own, when she breaks from the family.  It seems like you do a good job of treating how the financial conditions of the family are there in the early going, but when Sara leaves and is on her own, her financial challenges continue.  This might be something to focus on in the continuing analysis about how the issue of poverty is important to the work, in general.

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missyngdiva's profile pic

missyngdiva | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

2nd Body Paragraph Revised: 

Unlike Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa, one of the central ideas in Bread Givers is its treatment of poverty. The Smolinsky family immigrates to America from Russia to find a better life. They leave everything behind except all of  Reb’s Holy Scriptures . Reb is the only patriarch of the family and the only male, so he takes it upon himself not to do common work done by men and women, but by doing God’s work by studying the Torah on his leisurely time. He expects his family to live by whatever is in the Torah. When the landlady comes to collect the rent, and finds out they do not have it , she becomes irate. The landlady says “ Hear him only! The dirty do nothing! Go to work yourself! Stop singing prayers. Then you’ll have money for rent!” (18) Reb causes the majority of the chaos within his family. Everyone must abide by his rules and please him at any given time of the day. Reb’s children work only to come home and feed his pockets with money. He receives the best meal out of everyone within his home. Everyone else gets the scraps. Because of Reb’s actions, his family faces the reality of poverty. He leads them into more poverty when he wastes much of their hard-earned money on a store with counterfeit goods. Several characters in this novel have a dream or goal of some sort, but being able to actually make it happen is the hardest part for them all.

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