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Discussion of Duddy's Two Sides-Related to Identity

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The story shows clearly the Duddy's two sides-related to his identity. Just as what Uncle Benjy writes in his letter to Duddy, Duddy was two people: a "scheming little bastard"(Richler 280) and a "fine, intelligent boy" (Richler 280). Uncle Benjy's letter reveals to Duddy that he must make a very serious decision: "There's more to you than mere money-lust, Duddy, but I'm afraid for you. You're two people, that's why. The scheming little bastard I saw so easily and the fine, intelligent boy underneath that your grandfather, bless him, saw. But you're coming of age soon and you'll have to choose. A boy can be two, three, four potential people, but a man is only one. He murders the others." (Richler 280).

Duddy is a "scheming little bastard" when he uses all the immoral tactics to get his money to buy the land. With knowledge of the fact that minors cannot be sued in Canada, Duddy defrauds stamp companies and sells hockey sticks stolen from the Montreal Forum. Maybe, at his age, he was unable to differentiate good from bad, right from wrong; or perhaps he did not even care, but nonetheless it was improper for him to involve himself into such unethical activities. The situation gets worst when Duddy established the Dudley Kane Enterprises. With his sparse knowledge of the movie industry, his produces films of extremely poor quality. The bar-mitzvah film for Mr. Cohen, for example, is a failing product. "Duddy didn't say a word all through the screening but afterwards he was sick to his stomach." (Richler 148) After the screening, Duddy says to Mr. Friar, "I could sell Mr. Cohen a dead horse easier than this pile of --." (Richler148) However, Duddy does not talk candidly to his client. Instead, he untruthfully says that the film is a phenomenal piece of art and that he is entering it into the Cannes Festival. By doing so, he deceives the Cohen family into buying the defective film. Duddy also has an ability to manipulate people. This can be clearly seen in his relationships with Virgil and Yvette. Duddy is never loved in his family, so originally Duddy is quite content to know that Yvette cares about him. Yet, Duddy uses her as a medium through which he can buy the land that he lusts for; because he is a minor and he cannot legally own land. "The farmers would be wary of a young Jew, they might jack up prices or even refuse to sell, but another French-Canadian would not be suspect." (Richler 307). While with Virgil, Duddy takes advantage of his physical disabilities. After selling the pinball machines that Virgil brought him to ease his financial troubles, Duddy does not want to repay Virgil. Using the fact that Virgil is an epileptic and that it is very difficult for him to be hired, Duddy employs him as a driver. Virgil being gullible enough as well as blinded by the happiness of Mr.Kravitz offering him, an epileptic, a job, is tricked into thinking that Duddy is a good person and that Duddy is doing him a favor. Duddy further cheats him by telling him that a truck would be necessary for the task, and that he can provide Virgil with the perfect vehicle for one thousand dollars, the exact amount that he owes Virgil



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