An Animal To The Memory Analysis

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Punisher In the story “An Animal to the Memory”, of David Bezmozgis’ book, Natasha and Other Stories, the reader is presented with a scene in which Rabbi Gurvich attempted to educate Mark Berman on the severity of his actions within the Holocaust memorial in the basement of his Hebrew school. Normally in a scene like this a reader would expect that the older Jew teaching the lesson to have had first hand experience with anti-Semitism and the younger Jew to be completely oblivious to the reality of such acts of violence. However in this unique situation, Bezmozgis decided to reverse those roles. Rabbi Gurvich is shown berating Mark because of his actions, but Bezmozgis does not include what punishment was given to…show more content…
He no longer was fixated on his aggression towards the other students and instead described the grandeur of their observance of the holiday. This shift in his interest served as a good indication to the reader just how strong Mark’s feelings were for this day. With those feelings in mind it becomes apparent why when Matthew Wise caused him to break one of the memorial candles, Mark was seemingly so consumed by his rage that he “held on to Wise’s throat” (pg.74) when Gurvich tried to pull him off of Wise. Unlike his past fight, it seems as though in this scene Mark’s aggression was triggered by the defamation of the memorial. As a Jew who had come to Canada in order to escape anti-Semitism it is completely understandable that the disrespecting of a memorial for those who could not escape would cause such a reaction. Even with the knowledge that Mark and his family are Russian Jews, Rabbi Gurvich scolds Mark viciously and accuses him of lacking any respect or feelings about the Holocaust. However the topic of what happened to Matthew Wise after the fight comes up only for an instant and does not make any mention of any
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