An incredibly dynamic character, Tateh begins to challenge his old life and seek a better one about halfway through the novel. He realistically assesses the value of a life such as the one he has had and has shown his daughter, and finds the hardships outweigh the joys. Emotionally, Tateh begins to see the toll life in New York has taken on him. Tateh also experiences a crucial and meaningful feeling of separation from his previous socio-economic position after reaching the pinnacle of his disillusionment with the American dream. Although earlier in his life, and in his stay in the United States, he has possessed idealism and a sense of promise, he loses hope as his efforts toward social equality consistently fail to reap substantial rewards. He soon demonstrates his entrepreneurial abilities through the sale of the movie books he has designed and exhibits a more profound understanding of how to succeed in a capitalist system.