In "The Magic Barrel," what clues suggest Salzman intentionally left his daughter's photo in the portfolio for Finkle?

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In the story, there are some interesting clues that Salzman purposely leaves the picture of his daughter, Stella, in the portfolio he gives to Finkle.

First, all six of the photos Salzman includes are of women a little older than he advertises. To Finkle, the women are past their prime, and he is upset at Salzman's apparent duplicity.

So, when Finkle sees Stella's photo, his fascination is immediate. Stella is attractive enough, to be sure. However, she also has something the others lacked: personality and an obvious strength of character. In other words, Stella stands out among the other nondescript women in the portfolio.

Second, Salzman appears before Finkle's door without apparent warning after the latter goes looking for the matchmaker. The text tells us that Salzman is breathless by the time he catches up with Finkle. The fact that Salzman makes a beeline to Finkle's door tells us that he has calculated the latter's interest in Stella.

Third, when cornered by Finkle, Salzman frantically answers, "Excuse me. Was an accident this picture. She isn't for you." Next, without warning, Salzman snatches Stella's photo from Finkle's hands. Finkle actually has to chase Salzman down to get him to talk about Stella. For his part, Salzman appears over-excited. He maintains that Stella would not be a fit bride for a rabbi. Salzman understands the psychology of the whole matter: a man denied will desire the object of his fascination all the more.

Fourth, we receive proof that Salzman planned the whole thing at the end of the story:

From afar he saw that her eyes—clearly her father's—were filled with desperate innocence. He pictured, in her, his own redemption. Violins and lit candles revolved in the sky. Leo ran forward with flowers out-thrust. Around the corner, Salzman, leaning against a wall, chanted prayers for the dead.

Even though Salzman maintains that Stella should "burn in hell," he prays for her. Yes, the prayer is for the dead. However, Salzman's emotional response to Stella and Finkle's first meeting betrays his love for his daughter. Salzman is less apathetic about Stella's fate than he portrays himself to be. The type of prayer he chooses also highlights his religious predilections.

Based on all of the evidence above, we can conclude that Salzman (as a loving father fixated upon the state of his daughter's soul) would be extremely motivated to manipulate a possible romance between Stella and Finkle, an aspiring rabbi.

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First, think of how Salzman stage managed things earlier--how he brought only a few pictures. Would a man that careful make this sort of mistake?

Second, think of how he managed Finkle's expectations in other ways--how he, for example, changed the age of the women.

Third, there is the idea of magic (as in "the magic barrel")--which could be true magic, but which could also be stage magic, manipulation.

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