My Name is Asher Lev
full title · My Name is Asher Lev
author · Chaim Potok
type of work · Novel
genre · Bildungsroman
language · English
time and place written · Early 1970s, America
date of first publication · 1972
publisher · Alfred A. Knopf
narrator · Asher Lev
point of view · Asher Lev, in his mid-twenties, writes his recollections of his life and development up to that point. We see the world through Lev's eyes.
tone · Since Asher is writing the book, he is very understanding to himself and sympathetic to the way he felt. Mostly, he is trying to explain how he has developed and give a voice to why he has acted as he did.
tense · Past
settings (time) · 1943–mid 1970s
settings (place) · Brooklyn, Manhattan, Florence, Rome, Paris
protagonist · Asher Lev
major conflict · Asher Lev has an intense desire to paint. This often comes into conflict with the Ladover Hasidic community in which he has been raised.
rising action · Asher studies art with the non-observant Jacob Kahn, Asher moves to Paris to study there, Asher paints a picture of his mother in a crucifixion scene.
climax · Asher's parents see his crucifix paintings
falling action · Asher's parents distance themselves, Rebbe asks Asher to leave the community
themes · The conflict between art and community
motifs · Travel, unfinished work
symbols · Earlocks, the Rebbe, Asher's mythic ancestor
foreshadowing · On the plane to Paris, Asher alters the Pietà. This foreshadows his later artistic creation in which he further alters the form of the crucifixion, using it to depict his family.
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