The First Seven Years

by Bernard Malamud

Start Free Trial

Why does Feld consider Max a suitable husband for Miriam?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Feld the shoemaker thinks—wrongly, as it turns out—that Max would be the ideal husband for his daughter, Miriam. Max is a studious, hard-working young man who gives the impression that he's going places. Feld particularly admires him for his dedication to education, which sets him apart from Miriam.

This should alert Feld to the fact that Max and Miriam are fundamentally incompatible. But he ignores the obvious mismatch and encourages Max to start dating his daughter. Almost inevitably, the two don't get on very well; they simply have nothing in common. All the while Feld had the ideal husband for Miriam right underneath his nose: Sobel, his young assistant. Feld had never dreamed of Sobel's being the man to make an honest woman of his daughter. He was always too dazzled by Max's book smarts to think of any other potential suitor.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial