My Name Is Asher Lev

by Chaim Potok
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What happens in chapter 5?

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There are several significant events in chapter pertaining to Asher’s art, his school life, and his home life. In the previous chapter, the issue of Asher’s increasing immersion in his art was causing tension. In addition, the family’s move to Vienna had created a conflict, as Asher did not want...

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There are several significant events in chapter pertaining to Asher’s art, his school life, and his home life. In the previous chapter, the issue of Asher’s increasing immersion in his art was causing tension. In addition, the family’s move to Vienna had created a conflict, as Asher did not want to go and asked to stay with his uncle.

Chapter 5 shows Asher continuing to paint and draw, even in the Torah. His behavior causes concern to his parents, who consult doctors about possible ailments including eye trouble. He also gets upset while meeting with the religious instructor at school, or mashpia, who suggests that he draw while in the office. Asher understands what other people want him to draw, and obliges.

Asher’s felt need to continue his art turns to the materials and their costs, and results in him actually stealing some art supplies from the store where the owner has been friendly to him. He seems disoriented and wanders the streets, which worries his parents.

When his father returns home from a trip, the subject of their upcoming move comes up again. The idea of staying with his uncle had been considered, but abandoned. The family decides that Asher and his mother will stay in New York, and his father will go alone.

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