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The Assistant by Bernard Malamud-Free Online Study Guide/Summary Notes
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AUTHOR'S STYLE

Bernard Malamud is, at times, labeled a Jewish writer. He is Jewish and he is a writer. But, he is more than a Jewish writer. While he always remembered that he was Jewish, he likewise always knew that he belonged to the whole family of man. He wrote with that knowledge.

RISING ACTION

The rising action occurs between the first chapter and the sixth chapter. In these chapters Frank becomes close to Morris and to Helen. He helps run the store while Morris is laid up. He asks very little in return, although he does take a few dollars with the plan to repay it. Frank worries about telling Morris about his part in the robbery. He watches Helen, both through the store window and by spying on her as she disrobes for her bath. He gets to know her on walks from the library.


Morris suspects that Frank is stealing from him, but cannot be sure. Then he decides that, if Frank is stealing, it is because he doesn't pay him enough. He decides to pay Frank more.

FALLING ACTION

The falling action takes place between the climax and the outcome, between the rape of Helen and the point at which Frank becomes good. An important point in the falling action is the death of Morris Bober. A final important point is when, after one final period of being bad, a moment of final suspense, Frank becomes good. This is when Frank finally quits peeking at Helen in the bathroom and when he quits cheating the customers.

POINT OF VIEW

The Assistant is written from a limited omniscient point of view. This allows the reader to understand what is going on in the minds of some of the characters.

GENRE

The genre of this writing is novel, adult fiction.

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