Symbolism In Bernard Malamud's A Summers Reading

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In the story “A Summers Reading” author Bernard Malamud uses Mr. Cattanzara as a symbol to help represent the theme that education can transform an individual’s life for the better. Mr. Cattanzara, a man that works in a change booth and has a poor outlook on life, suggests that everything erroneous in his life is because of others. However, the real reason he is miserable is his lack of education. Mr. Cattanzara works in a change booth in the subway because it was the only job that he could get with his amount of knowledge. Mr. Cattanzara’s lack of education also indicates that he did not care to think about his future. Nevertheless, even though his academic background is minimal, he could still make a difference in someone’s life. He made…show more content…
Cattanzara determined that George had nothing to do with his summer since he sees him every day on his late night walk so he wanted to push George to do something innovative. He impacted George’s life for the better by asking him, “what are you doing with yourself this summer?” George predetermined that he was going to read all of the books on the list from the library of a hundred books by the end of summer. George planned to read the World Almanac and the whole newspaper from front to back in one setting every day. He thought that the books will help him with his education and getting more admiration from the town. Before “A Summers Reading”, George believed that the town viewed him as a failure. The town considered him as a failure because George had little education and he dropped out of high school on impulse. For instance, the town did not have any hopes for George to read a hundred books. Since Mr. Cattanzara had trouble with his education in the past and it affecting his future, he advised George not to be like him. In other words, do not be the towns joke due to the lack of schooling. George then decided to read the hundred books to prove to Mr. Cattanzara he could do it and also to the town that treated him like

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