Excerpt: “How strong, how full of life and hope I felt as I walked out the bakery. I opened my arms, burning to hug the new day. The strength of a million people was surging up in me. I felt I could turn the earth upside down down with my littlest finger. I wanted to dance, to fly in the air and kiss the sun and stars with my singing heart. I, alone, with myself, was enjoying myself for the first time as with grandest company” (157).
Within this quotation, readers can get a better understanding of Sara Smolinsky as we well as a hint of the roles of gender starting to change for women. Sara is a character full of ambition, charisma, drive, determination, and most of all hope. She sees the streets of New York and world as one big playground waiting to be explored because of all the opportunities it offers her. She directly says “I wanted to dance, to fly, in the air, and kiss the sun and stars with my singing heart. I, alone, was enjoying myself for the first time as with grandest company” (157). Sara is a persistent character because whatever she sets out to do, she makes sure she achieves it and does not let anything ever hold her back. Even though, Sara grew up in a strict household where her actions were limited, she still does forget what growing up on Hester Street thought her.
Another important part of this quote is when says “The strength of a million people were surging me up” (157). One may say that is a sign of Sara’s optimism showing but instead it hints at the bigger of the role of women. That being said, if we look back in history we can see how women were limited in every aspect and walk of life. Since the story, is set in the 1920’s we see how the roles are starting to change. Sara is a product of a woman growing up in the 1920’s and having these opportunities at her fingertips. Whether it be through jobs, education, or social norms the role of women were changing. Sara uses the “strength of a million people” as a metaphor to break free from the traditional roles of women. Ultimately, Sara life is a testament to the changing times.
History, Tretherras, director. YouTube. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Oct. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqvLgS5u4O8.
MrSandwizard123, director. YouTube. YouTube, YouTube, 9 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDZ93syAQfA&t=62s.
Yezierska, Anzia. Bread Givers: a Novel. Persea Books, 2010.