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The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Duddy is No Monster "I think you're rotten," says Yvette at the close of the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, "I wish you were dead" (Richler 318). This opinion is echoed throughout a significant quantity of the criticism of Mordecai Richler's tale. At best, we wonder whether Duddy has heard anything through his apprenticeship; at worst, we now accuse him of taking a huge step backward, of getting a completely contemptible human being. If Duddy steals money from his friend and admirer, Virgil, to pay for the last parcel of property across Lac St. Pierre, it may seem that he has sunk to a low where he may never recover; but attentive thought of the events leading up to the thieving, that the turn of events after it, and finally, Duddy's psychological reaction to both Yvette's anger and Simcha's disappointment suggests that Duddy is not the monster which he's often proven to be. Duddy Kravitz is raised in a bad part of Montreal; people without hope are typical, also, frequently, it's necessary to stoop under the standards, simply to earn a living. Max Kravitz, for instance, who has a respectable job as a taxi driver, also works as a pimp, to make ends meet. Duddy Kravitz grows up idolizing Jerry Dingleman, the "Boy Wonder" that, according to Max's tales, is a person that has been in a position to fight his way out of this St. Urbain St. squalor, and eventually be a success. The oral legends Max tells of his achievements, of his humble beginnings, and his gradual rise to greatness recall heroic epics such as The Odyssey, advised in ancient Greece to teach and inspire the youth of a warrior culture. "If the Boy Wonder loses his temper," Max tells Duddy, "he could eat bread and it would come out toasted. That...