Goodbye, Columbus is a Reflection of Jewish Class Struggle

As it follows the relationship between Neil Klugman and his girlfriend, Brenda Patimkin, Goodbye, Columbus explores the narrator’s struggle for self-knowledge as well as the themes of Jewish identity and class divisions. Neil Klugman is from a lower-middle class family in Newark, while Brenda Patimkin is from a suburban upper-middle class family. Their relationship is laden with the stark differences of the classes to which they belong, even though they share a similar cultural heritage.

The novella is written with irony and a sense of humor, and is thought to be roughly based on the writer’s own life. Philip Roth himself was born into a lower-middle class Jewish family in Newark.

About the author

Isabel Harris Eide

Isabel Harris Eide remembers reading Goodbye, Columbus as a high school senior in a gender and sexuality English course. The novella, written by Philip Roth in 1959, is narrated by the character Neil Klugman, a 23-year-old Jewish man living in Newark, New Jersey. Currently a psychology student at University of Miami, the book is still Isabel Harris Eide’s favorite.

Volunteering with New York’s City Harvest

Mobile Markets and Greenmarket Rescues are two initiatives of the organization in which volunteers can help get food to those in need. Mobile Markets volunteers meet from 8:45 a.m. to noon in one of five locations throughout New York City to hand out free produce in a farmers market setting. Volunteers with Greenmarket Rescues collect excess food donations from vendors at Greenmarket and load them into a City Harvest truck.

Repack assistants meet at the organization’s facility in Long Island and assist in repacking bulk produce donations into family-sized portions for distribution at soup kitchens and food pantries.

About the author

Isabel Harris Eide

Isabel Harris Eide, a student of psychology at University of Miami, has been an active volunteer for City Harvest. The New York City organization collects excess food from restaurants, grocers, and manufacturers, and delivers it to food programs throughout the city. As a volunteer, Isabel Harris Eide assisted in delivering food to those in need, but there are several other ways a person can volunteer with City Harvest as well.

Florence – An Early Epicenter of the Renaissance

Isabel Harris Eide blog post
An independent city-state with a population of 60,000 in the early 15th century, Florence achieved its wealth through the manufacture and trade of wool and other cloth. Since the 14th century, the city state had been organized into a dozen artist guilds. These commercially focused trade organizations were underpinned by a robust banking system, with the gold florin accepted as standard coinage across the Continent.

The rise of Florentine culture came after the threat from the Duke of Milan was vanquished and the Medici family came into their own as benevolent rulers who supported the arts. Committed to a new form of humanism, leading thinkers and artists drew inspiration from the achievements of earlier Florentine notables, including Dante Alighieri and Giotto.

Over a period of a century, elaborate paintings and sculptures were commissioned for churches, commercial buildings, and private residences throughout the city. Key figures in this vibrant emergence of the arts included Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli.

 

About the author

 

Isabel Harris Eide

A psychology student at the University of Miami, Isabel Harris Eide has had the opportunity to travel to diverse countries spanning the globe, from Southeast Asia to Italy. While in Florence, Isabel Harris Eide took Italian culinary classes and studied art history. Florence was at the epicenter of the Renaissance, which involved a rebirth of arts and learning throughout much of Europe.

Beyonce’s Lemonade – An R&B-Rooted Narrative of Overcoming Adversity

Isabel Harris Eide
Isabel Harris Eide

Isabel Harris Eide studies psychology at the University of Miami and enjoys playing sports such as tennis and volleyball. Also passionate about music, Isabel Harris Eide enjoys a variety of genres, from dance music to R&B and hip hop. One of the most critically acclaimed releases of early 2016, hip hop megastar Beyoncé’s sixth solo album, Lemonade, was, like her previous album, released with minimal notice through a guerrilla marketing campaign.

In many ways, Lemonade is the ultimate contemporary concept album, as it traces a narrative of “infidelity and reconciliation” that is informed by her high-profile marriage to rapper Jay-Z. It is also an assertion of pride in Beyoncé’s ethnicity as an African American and in the musical forebears and collaborators that inform her identity, from Nina Simone to The Weeknd.

An accompanying HBO movie brings home the visual nature of the album and focuses on the importance of overcoming obstacles and challenges across generations. Lemonade-making and the ability to make something from nothing are the thematic glue that underpins her multigenerational concept of woman-rooted strength.