The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz--The Tragic Fall of Duddy

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz--The Tragic Fall of Duddy A man must pursue his dreams. This is certainly true for everyone of the humankind, for if there were no dreams, there would be no reason to live. Duddy Kravitz understands this perfectly, that is why he is one of the most ambitious young men of his time. From the moment he hears his grandfather says, "A man without land is nobody," he is prepared to seek the land of his dream -- no matter what the cost would be. This ambition of his is very respectable, but unfortunately his methods are damnable. Duddy is a relentless pursuer; a formidable competitor and also a ruthless manipulator. It is true that he has obtained all the land that he desires at the end, but he succeeds through immoral, despicable and contemptible means. It is clear then, that Duddy has failed in his apprenticeship and has become the "scheming little bastard" that Uncle Benjy has warned him against. There is no doubt that Duddy is very shrewd and clever, but his lack of moral principles attributes to his final failure. In fact, his immorality can be traced back to a very young age. During his study in the parochial school, he already earns money through methods that hardly comply to virtues of any kind. Taking advantage of the fact that minors cannot be sued in Canada, Duddy defrauds stamp companies and sells stolen hockey sticks. Perhaps he cannot distinguish right from wrong; perhaps he does not care, but nonetheless it is not proper for him to engage himself into these kinds of activities. Duddy emerges himself deeper into the sea of corruption when he establishes Dudley Kane Enterprises. With his limited knowledge of movie making and his mistaken trust in John Friar, his firm produces bar-mitzvah films of extremely poor quality. The bar-mitzvah film for Mr. Cohen, for example, is obviously a failing product. "Duddy didn't say a word all through the screening but afterwards he was sick to his stomach." After the screening, Duddy says to Mr. Friar, "I could sell Mr. Cohen a dead horse easier than this pile of --." However, realizing the obvious faultiness of the film, Duddy does not talk candidly to his client. Instead, he untruthfully says that the film is a phenomenal piece of art and that he is entering it into the Cannes Festival. By doing so, he deceives the Cohen family into buying the defective bar-mitzvah film of Bernie. As a matter of fact, Kravitz is not only skillful in handling situations, but he is also very apt in manipulating people. This can be clearly seen in his relationships with Virgil and Yvette. Duddy is never loved in his family, so originally Duddy is quite content to know that there is someone who cares about him -- Yvette. He finds great comradeship in her and has also enjoyed great sex with her. But as time passes by, Yvette becomes only a tool to him. He uses her as a medium through which he can buy the land that he lusts for; because he is a minor and he cannot legally own land. "The farmers would be wary of a young Jew, they might jack up prices or even refuse to sell, but another French-Canadian would not be suspect." Duddy also treats her as a sexual toy. He makes love with Yvette whenever he wants it, but he does not take Yvette's feelings into consideration: "Yvette wanted to wait, but Duddy insisted, and they made love on the carpet." He never pays any respect to Yvette and he does "...not know how to treat a woman." With Virgil, Duddy takes advantage of his physical disabilities. After selling the pinball machines that Virgil brought him to ease his financial troubles, Duddy does not want to repay Virgil. Using the fact that Virgil is an epileptic and that it is very difficult for him to be hired, Duddy employs him as a driver. But Duddy tells him that a truck would be necessary for the task, and that he can provide Virgil with the perfect vehicle for one thousand dollars -- the exact amount that