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In Wandering Arm

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Submitted By jdr1989
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Jewish people’s relations to the majority in the medieval Christendom In “The Wandering Arm”, Sharan Newman brings the readers back to the 12th century Paris, France by utilizing her vivid imagination. By creating complex relationships among both Christian and Jewish characters, we observed how Jewish people behave themselves in a Christian dominated world. Among all the Jewish characters, Hubert is the one with most complicated feeling toward his Jewish identity. Hubert was born as a Jew, but the crusaders killed all his sisters and mother when the latter attacked Rouen. Hubert’s neighbor adopted him and baptized him, and later let him become a Christian merchant. (Newman, page 49) Even though most people regard him as Christian, (only few people know his real identity and relationship with Eliazar) inside his heart, he always wanted to become a Jew. When Abbot Sugar offers wine to Hubert, Hubert felt guilty and accept the wine. (Newman, page 78) When he heard Prior Herve’s statement about Jewish people, he “forced his teeth to unclench.” (Newman, page 49). In addition, Hubert secretly attends the Sabbath in the synagogue. (Newman, page 63) Hubert’s role represents Jewish people who were forced to abandon their faith and become the Christian. For these people, the only choice they may have is to continue act as Christians, and hide their faith inside their hearts, without letting others know, even close family members. Once Hubert tell the truth about his identity to his daughter Agnes, Agnes was ashamed and even discriminated him. For instance, it is too dangerous for Christians like Hubert to display the faith in Judaism: friends and neighbors, even family members will turn against you, and your family and Jewish community will be “threaten with serve punishment for proselytizing” (Newman, page 63) and even worse. As responsible individuals, a person has the…...

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