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Analysis of Zelig by Benjamin Rosenblatt

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 631
  • Category: Character

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Zelig is the same as any other less fortunate old man who sees life as miserable and painful. The story of Zelig can be said as a life of an old man in a third world country or in a community where there is discrimination, injustices, and mistreatment because the story shows how convicted old Zelig to raise his family but he has not given a fair opportunity.

From the beginning of the story, the reader can already feel the discrimination, shame, and inopportunity for Zelig but despite of it all, he remained strong and confident in everything he does even if he is alone with his actions. Life for old Zelig is nothing but a dark shade of evening without any sunshine that will fill his morning – a day is always a night.

            Old Zelig is weak inside but strong outside, he do not want people to feel his weaknesses that is why he wants to be busy everyday of his life so people would not feel him – his emptiness and tiredness. The death of Zelig’s son made him a heart of stone. Even if he wanted to help his son survive from its illness, he cannot find someone to help him. As a reader, your can feel the pain inside of old Zelig as he continue to say, “I’ll have to borrow, I’ll have to beg.” These words are the most tearing part but it is also the strongest feeling of old Zelig because he wanted to find ways to save his son.

            Personally, I have seen that the reason why he change his mind and pay for his grandson’s college is his wife. Through the whole story, Zelig’s wife act and speak for what she feel is right for only once or twice. The part when old Zelig get mad at his grandson and his wife speaks to him with deep anger and pity for his grandson made him realize that he do not want to add more pain and sorrow into the heart of his wife. Though his grandson’s illness contributes to his decision, I have seen that his wife have greater influence to change his mind.

Aside from this factor, their life as a poor people and their future made him decide to give his grandson the opportunity to have a life. He felt pain when he cannot do anything for his son’s illness and death, it will bring more pain to him if he choose not give his grandson his opportunity. It is not only the pain coming from the child but also from his wife. Because Zelig’s life is a tragic, he does not want to be bitter towards his son that will produce a torn between him and his wife that he cannot afford to suffer.

            Zelig’s sentiment is a mix-emotion of pain and acceptance. Even if there is pain inside him, he needs to accept the fact that they are less fortunate and lees opportunity in their society. He strived hard to give his family at least a normal life although not a good life but he did not succeed for they remain the same. His son’s death is one of old Zelig’s heartache but he do not want to add it up because of his pride that only remain in his being. If his pride remains within him, not only the opportunity for his grandson will vanish but also his own wife so even if the single piece of pride that he has in his personality disappeared because there is love and fear for his remaining loved ones.

Work Cited

Rosenblatt, Benjamin. “Zelig” Text and Context. Lynn, Steven. (Publisher). (Date). (Page          numbers).

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