2What epiphany did Feld have in the story? Feld realizes that Sobel truly loves Miriam. He realizes what the past five years must have been like for Sobel.
3What new ideas does Feld’s epiphany introduce that challenge the values he has always held? Feld realizes that people may have other things to offer than material success.
4In what ways might Feld’s epiphany (a) change his thinking in the future? (b) affect his attitude toward Miriam? (c) affect his attitude toward Sobel?(a) He may try harder to see situations from other people’s points of view.(b) He may have learned that she has to make her own decisions.(c) He will probably treat Sobel with greater respect and understanding.
5(a) With what external conflicts does Feld struggle (a) With what external conflicts does Feld struggle? (b) What internal conflicts trouble him? (c) Which conflicts affect Feld the most?(a) Feld struggles to succeed in his business and provide for his family.(b) Feld’s pride and his need for help come into conflict after his heart attack. He struggles with the differences between his goals and Miriam’s.(c) The greatest conflict is the one between his desires for Miriam’s future and Miriam’s own desires for her life.
6(a) What external conflicts does Sobel face (a) What external conflicts does Sobel face? (b) What internal conflicts trouble him?(a) Sobel doesn’t earn very much money.(b) He loves Miriam but fears that his age and his low salary will prevent him from being with her.
7(a) What image of Sobel begins the story (a) What image of Sobel begins the story? (b) What image of Sobel ends it? (c) What meaning do you find in the relationship of the beginning of the story to its ending?(a) Sobel is pounding on the last in the shoe shop.(b) The same image ends the story.(c) It echoes the constancy of Sobel’s love for Miriam, and his determination to wait for her.
8At the end of this story, have the characters’ situations changed At the end of this story, have the characters’ situations changed? (b) If so, in what ways? If not, how might they change in the future?(a) By the end of the story, all the characters’ situations have changed.(b) Feld has had to abandon his dreams for his daughter; Sobel will have to wait two years, but he has gained permission to ask for Miriam’s hand in marriage; Miriam does not know it yet, but she will be able to pursue her love for Sobel.