My Name is Asher Lev

Journal 5

Chapter 6

Chapter six was the first time I had felt that Asher actually felt love toward his father. Itís no surprise he loves his mother because he is always talking about her, but he had never felt a connection with his father. Until his father left, then he started expressing his love. He says he misses his father and he wishes he were with him. He says he feels guilty that heís torn the family apart because he feels itís his fault. Well, the truth of the matter is, is that it is his fault. He refused to go to Vienna and his mother was forced to stay with him. I guess thatís what people mean when they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

That same week, Asher paints his first oil painting. This is a turning point in the book because he was really entering the realm of artistry. He says he feels like heís been painting oils all his life, which I think it foreshadowing saying heíll paint for the rest of his life, which doesnít surprise me.

Later in the chapter when his father comes back, they grow apart again. His father keeps repeating that art is goyish and is evil and comes from the other side. Asher doesnít understand what heís talking about, he just wants to paint. I think thereís going to be this cycle of a hate/love relationship between Asher and his father.

To redeem himself, Asher starts studying harder. He studies the Talmud, the Bible, the Torah, and the Book of Psalms. I really admire the fact that he can do what he loves thatís absolutely against his culture and still be so ardently involved in his culture.

Later, Asherís mom leaves, too, leaving him to his uncleís care. He doesnít express any emotion of whether liking or disliking this change of course, but Iím sure he misses his mother. He had no choice in his mind because he didnít want to be in any place near his father. His father didnít respect what Asher does, why should it be any different the other way around?