Asher Lev and The Window
A little while later, Asher says, “I came out into the sunlight and walked the streets. Sometime during the walking, I saw myself in the window of a restaurant and stared indifferently at my face and realized my sidecurls were behind my ears” (264). This shows the transition that Asher has made into his new life, away from Hasidism and into his artistry. He is beginning to consider himself moving away from his Jewish roots and into his own life. Toward the end of the book, he tells his mother about one of his paintings that is in the gallery. He says, “Mama, it’s a crucifixion. I made our living-room window into a crucifixion and I put you on it to show the world my feelings about your waiting, your fears, your anguish” (355). This reveals how Asher is bothered by the troubles that his mother has had while waiting by the window. The window represents many different things about Asher, but the reader gains knowledge about his inner self through the use of the window. To conclude, the window is a major part of Chiam Potok’s My Name Is Asher Lev. It gives readers insight on characters’ thoughts and feeling of the world around them. Asher is torn between two worlds, the mother between her husband and her son, and the father between his family and his religious duties. Without the common occurrence of the window, many inner outlooks would be unknown.
Potok, Chiam. My Name Is Asher Lev. New York: Anchor Books, 2003.