Introduction to
English and American Literature


"The First Seven Years" Assignment Page

Last modified on April 18, 2005

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Reading Assignment #3

 プリント、Bernard Malamudの"The First Seven Years"を以下の20問の質問に答えられるように最後まで読みなさい。そして、質問2、6、13、14、18の答え(日本語でかまいません)を簡潔に葉書に書いて、

〒340-0042 草加市学園町1-1 獨協大学外国語学部英語学科 島田啓一 



Questions for "The First Seven Years":

  1. Why does Feld respect Max? Why didn't Miriam go to college? (p. 2873L)
  2. Why does Feld wish to suggest to Max that he go out with Miriam? (p. 2873)
  3. When Feld marked X's and O's on Max's battered shoes, why do you think "it troubled him [Feld] he might have mixed up the letters?" (p. 2873R)
  4. How is Max's appearance depicted on page 2873R? What kind of impression do you get from his features and appearance described on the page? What metaphor does the author use to describe Max? What do you think is the significance of the metaphor?
  5. How does Max respond when Feld asks him to go out with Miriam? What kind of person do you think responds the way Max does ? Do you think you can trust him?
  6. When Feld told Max it cost a dollar fifty to repair his shoes, he "felt bad" at once. (p. 2874L) Why do you think he "felt bad"?
  7. What did Sobel do when Feld went back to the store? Why do you think Sobel did such a thing?
  8. How is Sobel described on page 2874 when he first appeared before Feld? Compare it with the way Max is described on page 2873R.
  9. What seems to be Sobel's hobby? What did Sobel do for young Miriam?
  10. Although Feld went to see Sobel to ask him to come back, Feld didn't "insist on seeing him" and instead he "hired a new helper". (p. 2875L) Why do you think Feld didn't insist on seeing him?
  11. How was Feld feeling when Max came to take Miriam out? (p. 2875L)
  12. What was Miriam doing when she returned from the first date with Max? Do you do such a thing after you date? What do you think is the possible implication?
  13. What is Max studying for? Why is Feld at first disappointed to find that out and then is 'thoroughly content"? (p. 2875R)
  14. Why does Miriam decide to stop seeing Max after the second date? How does she explain the reason to her father? (p. 2876L)
  15. When Max came to get his repaired shoes, "Max handed him two crumpled bills and received in return a newly minted silver half dollar." (p. 2876L) What do you think is implied in this passage?
  16. Sobel finally tells Feld why he had worked so long for him. What do you think of Sobel's motive and the scene in which the two men clash and reconcile? (pp. 2876R-77L)
  17. What do you think is the theme of this story? Who do you think is the story about? In the second to the last paragraph of this story "he walked with a stronger stride." (p. 2877R) Why do you think Feld walked that way? (Notice he had suffered from a heart attack.)
  18. Can you think of any significance in the naming of Sobel and Max? Why do you think they are named Sobel and Max?
  19. Can you think of any significance in Feld being a shoemaker? Could he be, for instance, a tailor or a used car salesman instead of being a shoemaker?
  20. Why is the title 'the First Seven Years"? (If you really want to know, refer to the Bible: Genesis 29: 15-28.)

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