Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 3, 2024
February 25, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Helen Bober has a classical name that does not reflect her Yiddish background. Helen's name evokes the idea of ancient Greece. Like Helen of Troy, Helen Bober is a figure that many men become interested it. Furthermore, Helen's name suggests her desire to study the classics herself, a desire that has been thwarted by her family's poverty. Helen is the character who links the owners of the grocery to the other people in the neighborhood. Helen leaves the grocery everyday and heads out to work as a secretary somewhere in New York. Helen has had relationships with Nat Pearl and Louis Karp. It is through her interaction with those men that their true natures become known and it is also through her interaction with their families that Malamud is able to explore their family dynamics. Despite her ability to leave the grocery each day, Helen is perpetually unsatisfied. She spends her hours dreaming of a better life. She clings to novels and visits the library several times a week, in an effort to use literature as a means to flee the mediocrity of her life. Because Helen is a dreamer, she does not always accurately understand people when she meets them. Her strong longing to flee poverty initiated her love of Nat Pearl. As a future lawyer, Nat represented someone with a possibility. Regardless that his character was not all charming, Helen fell in love with him for what he represented to her. When Helen realized his true desires—sex—she shunned him. Helen also initially loves Frank Alpine even though she is not able to see him for who he is. She believes that he really will attend college because it is what she wants and fails to imagine that the presents he gives her were stolen because she does not want them to be. It is only after Frank's vicious treatment of her and Morris's death that Helen slowly comes to a new realization about Frank and Nat. With her realization, she is finally able to love more than she an image that she has created.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Assistant!