Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 142
This 1935 play tells the story of a family influenced by communist and capitalistic ideals living in a tiny Bronx apartment. Bessie Berger, the lady of the house, is forced to arrange the marriage of her daughter, Hennie Berger, after she becomes pregnant out of wedlock. Bessie doesn't like Sam, the man her daughter has to marry, because he is poor. However, she has no other choice since the man has rented part of their house and is the closest to the family. Thus, it will be less of an embarrassment. Jacob, Bessies father, is a pure communist and teaches his grandson, Ralph Berger, the ways of communism. Jacob hates capitalism because he believes it has ruined America—the characters are still recovering from the effects of the Great Depression. Interestingly, Jacob leaves his grandson $5,000 to start his life before he commits suicide.