full title The Assistant
author Bernard Malamud
type of work Novel
genre Modern American novel; Jewish-American novel
time and place written Oregon, 1954–1956
date of first publication 1957
publisher Farrar Strauss Giroux
narrator Omniscient narrator
point of view Third person, with narratives hat include the contents of certain characters' minds.
tone Serious, with touches of irony in the Yiddish style
tense Past tense
setting (time) Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s
setting (place) Brooklyn, New York
protagonist Martin Bober
major conflict Frank Alpine's struggle to control him self and be a good person
rising action The robbery of the grocery store Frank's thefts in the grocery store Frank's rape of Helen Bober Morris Bober's illnesses
climax Morris Bober catching Frank stealing and Frank's rape of Helen.
falling action Morris Bober gives up on life and dies Frank Alpine symbolically becomes born again Frank Alpine takes over and manages the grocery store Frank Alpine learns to control his self
themes father-son relationships transcendence of one's self The American dream
motifs Saint Francis of Assisi Prison Yiddish speech patterns
symbols flowers the novels that Helen gives Frank Milk
foreshadowing Frank's role in the robbery Frank's stealing from the store Frank's voyeurism of Helen.