Fiddler On The Roof Character Review: Tzeitel

*Warning: This post contains spoilers in regards to the narrative and characters from the musical Fiddler On The Roof. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie or any of the stage adaptations.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Fiddler On The Roof to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Love, especially young love, creates new sensations and a new reality. Especially when one lives in a repressive society where marriage is not based on love, but on family status and income. In Fiddler On The Roof, Tzeitel is the oldest of Tevye and Golde’s five daughters. She knows that marriage is in the cards for her immediate future. She also knows that in her world, she has no say in choosing her husband.

The husband that has been chosen for her is Lazar Wolf, the local butcher. The problem with Lazar is two-fold: first, that he is much older than she is. The second is that she is in love and has agreed to marry Motel, her childhood sweetheart. Her father does not know about Motel and might force her to marry Lazar instead of Motel.

In the end, Tzeitel marries the man she loves, but not before experiencing a few obstacles.

To sum it up: A young woman in love is not a new character trope or narrative. It is up to the writer to distinguish this very basic character and narrative in order for their story to stand out. In Fiddler on the Roof, Tzeitel is willing to break tradition just to marry the man she loves. In her era, women are second class citizens. The only career open to them is marriage and motherhood. By standing up for her love and her future, Tzeitel is taking a small, but important step toward feminism and female autonomy.


Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn Book Review

Income inequality is a truth in America that few of us are willing to face head on. While a small minority of citizens are vastly wealthy, the rest of us are not so fortunate.

Chris Hughes is one of the founders of Facebook. The son of middle class parents, Hughes became part of the 1% when Facebook became one of the wealthiest companies in America.

This experience gave him an insight into how to fix the massive income inequality problem that we have in the United States today. In his new book, Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn, he writes about how problematic the issue truly is and proposes common sense solutions that will help to finally solve the problem.

I really liked this book. I liked it not only because of the down to earth manner that it is written, but also that the writer speaks from experience. The reader does not have to be an academic or an economist to understand how he proposes to bridge the gap between the 1% and the rest of America.

I recommend it.

Throwback Thursday-Bionic Woman TV Series (2007)

Television has a way of reflecting the reality of the audience.

The 1970’s were a time of change in America. Women were demanding their rights, no longer content or willing to just be the meek and mild help meet to the men in their lives.

The Bionic Woman was on the air from 1976-1978. It told the story of Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner), a female athlete who wakes up from surgery after an accident to discover that she has artificial limbs and extraordinary capabilities.

In 2007, the show was rebooted. Michelle Ryan stepped into the very large shoes of Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers.

The creative team was banking on nostalgia and the demand for female characters that go beyond the traditional roles women have played on-screen. While I have not seen the original show, I knew enough to know that the reboot was a pale comparison of its predecessor.

Do I recommend it? No.

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