Mordecai Richler was a Canadian author and screenwriter. He is best known for his novels, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Barney’s Version.
Richler was born in Montreal, Quebec, to Jewish parents who had immigrated from Poland. He began writing at an early age, and by the time he graduated from high school, he had already published several articles in local newspapers.
After completing his studies at McGill University, Richler moved to England, where he worked as a journalist for a number of years. It was during this time that he wrote The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, which was published in 1959.
The novel follows the title character, a young man from a poor Jewish background, as he tries to make his way in the world. The book was well-received, and was made into a film in 1974.
Richler returned to Canada in 1972, and settled in Montreal. He continued to write novels, as well as screenplays for films such as The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and The Trotsky.
Mordecai Richler intended to show his main character, Duddy Kravitz, as a failure in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Duddy understands that a guy must pursue his aspirations, which is why he is one of the most driven young men of his generation. From the moment Duddy’s grandfather says, “A man without land is no one,” he is prepared to search for the ideal piece of ground. Although this ambition on behalf of Duddy is commendable, his tactics are entirely misguided, and as a result he becomes a failure.
Duddy’s first and most notable failure is his complete lack of business ethics. He is constantly scheming and dreaming up new ways to make a quick buck, regardless of who he has to hurt in the process. For example, he blackmails his old friend Virgil into giving him money by threatening to expose a secret from Virgil’s past. He also tries to sell fake merchandise, and he even steals from his own family. These are just a few examples of Duddy’s many unethical business practices.
Another reason why Duddy is a failure is because he does not know how to handle money. He is always blowing his money on useless things, like cars and cigarettes. He also has a gambling problem, which causes him to lose even more money. All of this financial recklessness leads to Duddy being constantly in debt.
Lastly, Duddy is a failure because he does not know how to treat people. He is always putting himself first and he does not care about anyone else. This selfishness leads to him alienating many people, including his family and friends. All of these factors combine to make Mordecai Richler’s character of Duddy Kravitz a clear failure.
Duddy was willing to do anything to acquire money, even if it meant telling a lie, from the moment he began to immerse himself into the business of his film company. For example, Duddy’s movie for the bar mitzvah was of terrible quality and therefore proved to be a complete flop. “Duddy didn’t speak a word throughout the screening but afterwards became sick to his stomach,” Mr. Friar later remarks about Duddy (page 148). Later on, when speaking with Mr. Friar: “I could sell Mr. Cohn a dead horse easier than this pile of garbage,” says Duddy (page 148).
Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is a novel that follows the life of a young Jewish boy, Duddy, as he journey to become successful. Mordecai Richler was born in 1931 in Montreal, Canada to poor Jewish parents. He was the oldest of three children. Mordecai Richler died at the age of 70 on July 3, 2001 from cancer. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz was Mordecai Richler’s fourth novel.
It was published in 1959 and won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. In 1974, it was turned into a movie starring Richard Dreyfuss as Duddy Kravitz. Mordecai Richler’s other works include: The Incomparable Atuk (1963), St. Urbain’s Horseman (1971), Joshua Then and Now (1980), Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989), and Barney’s Version (1997). Mordecai Richler is commonly known as one of Canada’s greatest writers.
However, as time passed, Duddy began to utilize Yvette as a tool. The primary reason for this is that Duddy wanted the property and since he was unable to gain possession of it as a minor, he employed Yvette to function as a figurehead in his purchase.
This treatment of Yvette (which was exacerbated by her breaking ties with her family due to Duddy being Jewish), along with her refusal to see her parents owing to him being a Jew, destroyed their relationship. “My brother discovered that I’m living with you…I won’t be able to see my parents anymore,” says Yvette in Hamlet Act 3, Scene 2″.
Duddy’s actions show he is not capable of being in a healthy and supportive relationship. He is selfish and only cares about himself and what he wants. This ultimately leads to the downfall of his relationship with Yvette.
In this way, Duddy got the machine for free while Virgil was taken advantage of. Furthermore, Duddy also uses Virgil’s physical disability to his advantage when he makes him drive in the winter. Even though Virgil can’t see well, Duddy still has him drive because he knows that Virgil won’t be able to say no. This once again shows how Duddy is willing to take advantage of people, even if it means putting them in danger.
Duddy is also willing to take advantage of people financially. He does this by overcharging them for the smuggled cigarettes and liquor that he sells. For example, he charges Jerry $2 a bottle for liquor when he only paid 75 cents per bottle. This allows Duddy to make a profit while also taking advantage of Jerry. Furthermore, Duddy is also willing to take advantage of people emotionally. He does this by using their feelings against them.
For example, he uses Yvette’s feeling for him to get her to help him smuggle cigarettes. Even though she doesn’t want to do it, she still helps him because she loves him. In this way, Duddy is able to get what he wants while also taking advantage of the people around him.
All in all, Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is a novel that explores the theme of taking advantage of others. Through the character of Duddy Kravitz, Richler shows how someone can take advantage of others physically, emotionally, and financially. This is a theme that is still relevant today and is something that everyone should be aware of.