What Makes Sammy Run And My Life

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What Makes Sammy Run And My Life Essay, Research Paper Literature of success/ English 215 Prof. Allen April 13, 2000 What Makes Sammy Run, The Moral Compass, and My Life What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg is a brilliant book that shows the savagery, the insensitiveness, and cruelty caused by the drive for money, which characterized the general attitude of most people in America during the end of 1930s and the beginning of the 1940s. Sammy Glick, the main character in the book, is a poor Jewish boy who grows into an adult and spends all his life trying to get to the top of the hierarchy by knocking other people down. It is money, prestige, and power, which are most important for him. His mind is constantly occupied with thoughts of how to manipulate people and benefit

from their hard work. To understand why Sammy is always hostile and always cynical towards people?s good manners, one should probably look at Sammy?s childhood. Brought up in poverty, running without shoes on the streets, working from early age to help his father to pay the rent, and beaten every time he goes to school, Sammy quickly understands that to escape this miserable living, he has to work hard. Soon he learns how to play tricks on people to make more money. ?There is a guy on the opposite corner doin? pretty good ?cause he?s yellin? ?U.S. may enter war. So I asks a customer if there?s anything in the paper about that. So when he says no, I figure I can pull a fast one too. So I starts hollerin? ?U.S. enters war,? and jeez shoulda seen the rush!?(Schulberg 213). Sammy

doesn?t show any respect towards his closest relatives. It is natural for him to knock his brother down to get the messenger job. Working many hours and getting more money, Sammy ?was beginning to understand the secret of power?(220). He is not afraid of Sheik who used to beat him up every day at school. Close to the age of thirteen, Sammy is already devoid of human feeling even towards his parents. The only thing he thinks about is money. Sammy does not respect the Jewish tradition any more. He will not be the ?bar mitzvah? his father wants him to be because, according to Sammy?s understanding, he has already become one. He does not visit the ?cheder? because there are more important things to do in life like making money, for example. It is difficult for ?Papa? to understand

his own son. ?That?s all you think about, money, money…?(222) says his father. Sammy, however, already knows that ?It?s money in the pocket ? that?s what makes you fell like a man (222). He does not even cry when his father passes away. His only reaction ?Is it over? (223) speaks of something not human. ?Sammy was thirteen, but he was a veteran; he had learned something that took the place of tears?(223). Sammy has formed a hard shell that protects him from all human feelings. His drive for money, control and annihilation of everything human is unsurpassable. Sammy has an enormous amount of confidence. There is nothing that can stop him. Even the first day, when he goes to work for Al Manheim as an office boy at The Record, he boastfully declares: ?I?m the new office boy, but I

ain?t going to be an office boy long?(3). Al Manheim is the other major character in the book. Compared to Sammy, he is much more considerable of other people and tries to teach Sammy of respect and compassion to others. All his words and bits of advice, however, come to a brick wall because it is difficult to change the path Sammy has chosen for himself. Later, on the day of his birthday at The Algonquin, when he makes the big strike towards publicity, it is not uncommon for him to say: ?Okay, I stink, ?but someday you?ll cut an arm for one little whiff?(27). Sammy is not afraid to speak openly to established writers in Hollywood. He is confident and selfish, fighting for every opportunity, obsessed by the one idea of self-promotion. ?I was just thinking about me. I just kept