The both a portrait of a young man

The Apprenticeship
of Duddy Kravitz is the fourth
novel by Canadian author Mordecai Richler. It was first published in 1959. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,
published by Mordecai Richler has long been regarded as one of the most
important Canadian novels. The
Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is the story of an enthusiastic Jewish boy
growing up in an underprivileged neighbourhood in Montreal. It is both a
portrait of a young man who is desperately determined to be successful and of
the various communities he must deal with in his journey working-class Jewish,
French Canadian, and Anglo-Saxon establishment. The novel opens in 1947, while
Duddy is still in high school. He creates havoc throughout his neighbourhood,
tormenting various people who has insulted or offended him. (enotes1) Duddy
Kravitz is obsessed with money, power and land. With the obsession of power and
money we see the theme of greed starting to progress from the very beginning.
Greed can be applied to situations where there is a passionate desire for
fortune and wealth. In the novel greed is shown by his relations with his
friends and even with what he was told as a young child. Duddy Kravitz grows up
in the “ghetto” a part of a city, especially a slum area, occupied by a
minority group or groups. In the ghetto there are characters who are not the
greatest influence on the major character. Since the novel takes place in 1947,
the Jewish people are seen as the minorities even after the second world war.
In this case, where Duddy grows up, it is full of Jewish and other minority
groups. Considering that the novel takes place in the life of Duddy Kravitz,
there are many times in which case there are controversial characters who
influence Duddy’s decisions in a negative way. With these characters they lead
Duddy, to the wrong decisions. Finally, the last major theme or topic in the
novel is the theme of stereotyping. As mentioned above, the Kravitz’s grew up
in Montreal’s ghetto. The Kravitz were a Jewish family in 1947, which was a
negative period for all Jewish people, after the second world war which ended
in 1945. The main case of stereotyping, was how Jews were represented as cheap,
liars and will do anything to make an extra dollar or two. Richler uses
characters in this book to display their culture and expose their stereotypes.
To conclude, Duddy Kravitz is a young man whom we can say is being an
apprentice to life. What he needs to obtain in the course of the novel is the
truth about himself and how to apply it to his life. His journey to accept the apprenticeship
starts by finding identity and to succeed in the goals that he sets for
himself. This might lead to wrong decisions which leads back to greed,
stereotypes and the people in which he hangs around with.