The absence of both of Asher’s parents is starting to have a certain effect on him. By not having his parents there, he begins to loose interest in many aspects of his life. His dad is never home with the intensifying crisis in Russia, and his mother shares little time with him due to her studying. Without these people to associate with, Asher’s outlook on his world has changed greatly. He does not feel important in his parent’s lives anymore. He looks upon other people such as Yudel Krinsky. Asher is going through some kind of a mental change, and no one is paying attention to it, or him.
Asher loses contact with both of his parents. Whether they’re there or not, neither mother or father give Asher enough attention. His art becomes almost a vague memory of the few years before, and the problems and concerns of his parents start to fill that empty space. His talent now seems to be lost in the jumble of the stress at home. Asher tries to follow the work of his parents so that he can somehow try to recover the attention that they once gave him. But when this doesn’t work, he turns to Yudel Krinsky, now working in a stationary store. Yudel Remains as almost a mentor in this rough time of Asher’s life. Here he gains more information about the events taking place in Russia. From Yudel, he learns about what his father is doing, instead of from his father directly. The fact that he comes home late from the store leads me to believe that maybe he does this to gain attention from his parents. His mother is left worried sick about where he is, but any attention at all seems good enough for him. Even in a terrible snow storm, he still finds the way to stay that much later at the store with Yudel. Even when he receives a negative reaction, Asher somehow feels better when anyone pays him any attention at all.
The parents in this situation remain a little helpless to do anything as well. With all that is going on in the world at this time, they have no choice to give their attention to those matters. If they do not, they would loose their credibility in the business world and loose the positions they currently hold. Asher’s father is forced to devote his time to his job, traveling for the Rebbe. If he does not, he is in direct defiance. That would mean trouble for him at his job. Meanwhile, his mother must study in order to do the same as her husband, a very important personal goal for her, considering it was what her brother did. She stays up around the clock to prepare for tests, and make sure that she’ll succeed. Not to mention that she is still very upset about the terrible death of her brother. For both parents, fitting Asher into their schedules doesn’t come easy to either of them. It’s not the matter of whether or not they want to or not, it’s the fact that if they take time away from their business situations at these important points, both will not succeed. They are forced to decide between the feelings in the household, and the overall profit from business. This is a very hard decision for anyone to make, considering that both need to be in good order before a family can be successful. Maybe the reason that they ignore Asher is because they are a little confused about where, how, and when to expend their energy.
With his parents gone, maybe the person who would most likely take over as the parent or role model would be Mrs. Rackover. But instead of filling the shoes as someone for Asher to look up too, her role here is to remind Asher that he is not the boy that his parents deserve him to be. She constantly reminds him that he isn’t good enough for his parents. I’m sure that this constant critical thinking coming from home makes him feel even lower than he already does. There is absolutely no motivation coming from home whatsoever to succeed on behalf of himself. No one devotes effort to give him what he needs as a person, and someone who wants to make progress in their own life. Asher has ideas and goals of his own, but without people to help him a long, he can’t do anything about it.
Because of all this negative influence coming from home, Asher doesn’t feel motivated to succeed anywhere, including school. His attention span at school goes down, his interest in even little things is at an all time low, and he doesn’t care about anything that should be considered important when it comes to schoolwork. He forgets about tests and therefore, fails them. He doesn’t give the same amount of effort as he once did. This is a new problem for Asher to try and overcome.
His mother has always been an important part of his life, and now that she has so many things to do, like everyone else, she is forgetting Asher too. I think that if he could choose the attention of only one person, he would pick his mother. The two of them had always been on a “best friend” relationship, and now that the stress of her schoolwork and the events in Russia, there is no time left to see each other in their busy household. This important part of Asher’s life being lost, it depresses him even more. I think that this is the main cause of much of the trouble he experiences.
The absence of his father has a great impact on him, but I think that he is confused about how his father feels about not being there all the time. As it has been said, his father is happy, and passionate about his work. But from his son’s standpoint this is not as good of a quality. By doing this he leaves Asher behind. By spending all his time in another place, away from his family, it makes his son feel much more unimportant than his work. Asher’s father leaves before he wakes up, and goes to bed when he is home, which seems to be a rarity. When he wants to spend time with his dad, these occurrences do not have a positive effect on Asher. When you want someone’s attention, in extreme situations one may do anything in order to get it, but in this case Asher has almost given up. After a while, he says that he really doesn’t follow what his father is doing for the Rebbe anymore. His father may not know it, but by being loyal to the Rebbe, he has lost the attention of his son.
In chapter two, Asher is going through a lot of stress. These feelings are of a very close and personal nature. He Feels that no one is there to give him attention or be concerned about what is happening in his life. All he is looking for is someone to be there for him when he needs someone to talk to or support him. But with the everything that is happening in his parents lives, this is a very hard task to accomplish. The events in Russia are starting to heat up which means both of their jobs get more involved and demanding. Asher, no feeling alone looses motivation to do well in what he is involved in. And since his parents have lost interest in him, he starts loosing interest in his parents. The only person Asher has turned to is Yudel Krinsky for information on Russia, and he is also just someone he can talk to. Besides Yudel, Asher is really left with no role models to follow, and no people to look up to. This is a very low part of Asher’s life and he’s not really sure of what direction he is going towards.