7 Sep 2016

BA English Short Story'Take Pity' by Bernard Malamud

Take Pity  by Bernard Malamud

Bernard Malamud is alive to the modern sensibility and writes about the social, cultural and economic problems of the 20th century. The world-wide depression of 1930 is a mile stone in American history and much literature has been produced in that background. 

The depression made people eat crunches of the bread from the garbage and kill each other for a paltry amount of money.
Take Pity “has also been written in the same background and exposes the same conditions of the life. In this story we read an undaunted struggle of a woman who after the death of her husband refuses every offer made to her in the form of charity. In spite of every effort he made to help her, Rosen s' attitude toward Eva is debased. Even his proposal is not based on true love. Eva is a representative character who takes a strong stance against the every effort made to her in the form of charity, She is an egoistic woman who wants to live using her own limited sources.

The story describes a gallant woman by the name of Eva who remains brave and optimistic till end and does not permit anyone to offer her out of pity.Eva is the widow of Axel Kalish. Axel makes some investment in his store in a desolated area which results in loss. and Axel dies in debt. After his death, his widow Eva wants to run the store with his insurance money. Axel s' friend Rosen advises her to leave the place and find some job. He tells her that she is still young and charming and she should start a new life by making a new marriage.

 But Eva refuses because she thinks that nobody will accept her with her two daughters. She starts running the store with insurance money. She tries to reorganize the store with great labor but unfortunately she is not successful. And she does not come out of misery and poverty. In this situation Rosen tries to win over her. He offers her to leave the place and occupy his house where she can live comfortably with her daughters.

 He even tells her that there is a woman who will look after her daughters in her absence and she can easily do some job..But Eva turns down all the offers. She has a n unflinching faith in her struggle. She is hopeful that slowly her store will start giving her profit.
Rosen proposes her and tells her that after his death, they will share all  his property. 

But Eva rejects her proposal as she knows that it is not based on true love. Her business continues to decline and her daughters become weak and pitiful. But she is not ready to accept charity from Rosen.. He finally makes a will according to which all his property will go to Eva and her two daughters. But Eva rejects re offer as well because she is not ready to accept anything in the form of charity. In the end it is proved that Eva is right and that Rosen does not have any true love for her. We find her standing defiantly before the window to raise her arms to Rosen who in turn shakes his fist toward her and abuses her badly.


Take Pity" describes an undaunted struggle of a brave woman,  do you agree?

The world-wide depression of 1930 is a mile stone in American history and much literature has been produced in that background. The depression made people eat crunches of the bread from the garbage and kill each other for a paltry amount of money. Take Pity" has also been written in the same background and exposes the same conditions of the life.

In the story , we read  an undaunted struggle of a woman, Eva. .She is a gallant woman who remains  brave and optimistic till the end and does not permit to anyone to offer her help out of pity. Eva is the widow of Axel Kalish. Axel makes some investment in his store in a desolated area which results in loss. And Axel dies in debt. After his death, his widow Eva wants to run the store with his insurance money. Axel s' friend Rosen advises her to leave the place and find some job.

 He tells her that she is still young and charming and she should start a new life by making a new marriage. But Eva refuses because she thinks that nobody will accept her with her two daughters. She starts running the store with insurance money. She tries to reorganize the store with great labour but unfortunately she is not successful. And she does not come out of misery and poverty.

 In this situation Rosen tries to win over her. He offers her to leave the  place and occupy his house where she can live comfortably with her daughters. He even tells her that there is a woman who will look after her daughters in her absence and she can easily do some job..But Eva turns down all the offers. She has an unflinching faith in her struggle. She is hopeful that slowly her store will start giving her profit. She remains persistent. She rejects all the charming offers made to her by Rosen and continues her struggle with the hope of better time.


Why did Eva reject Rosen s’ offers. Do you think she was justified in doing so?

In the story the famous writer Bernard Malamud very successfully projects the undaunted struggle of  a brave woman. Eva is a widow of Axle Kalish. After her husband s' death, she determines to continue running the store, despite her all efforts her business is running in loss. But she does not lose heart and is hopeful that the sore would start giving profit. Roseen an ex coffee salesman exploits the situation and tries to help her and her two daughters. he adopts different ways to help her. But this brave woman does not accept his offers. She knows that all the offers made by Rosen are not based on true love
In the end of the story we see that she is standing outside his window raising her arms to him. But he, in response, abuses her severely and closes the window with a bang. Here it is proved that all offers made by him were not based on true love. Eva was quite justified in her stance.


Points to Remember

1. It is  a short story which tells us of the unflinching struggle of a woman who strives to survive in life.
2.It also tells us that persons like Rosen try to exploit the situation.
3. Rosen is only taking pity on Eva,his all offers are not based o true love.
4. He adopts many ways to help he but she rejects her every offer as it is not based on true love.
5. ways adopted by Rosen to help her
a.He sends her some dollars from other city under the fake name
b. He tries to  to give some eatables to Eva s' daughters
c. He proposed Eva to marry him.
d. He even asks her to marry the person of her choice and he will bear all the expenditures of the marriage.
e. He offers her his house free of rent.
f. At the end , he gets his will prepared leaving all his property to Eva and commits suicides but is saved.
6. But at the end both the characters show contrasted attitude.
7. First she rejects all his offers but in the end she goes to him.
8. Rosen even puts his life at risk for her but when she goes to him, he abuses her badly in response.