When I visualize Malamud’s quickness I envision a bicycle on a paved bike path. There is a sign that says “Stay on Designated Path”. The bicycle is a multi-rider bicycle and on the bike is the Bober family. The path, while clearly moving in one direction, is full of zig zags. The pavement is perfectly smooth. This represents Malamud’s ability to easily tell an enjoyable story with lots of curves and surprises. The son’s head is missing. This is too depict Morris’ loss of his son, Ephraim. The loss of a family member makes it even harder to keep the family bicycle going. A bird is flying next to the family. This bird represents Frank.
As an avid bike rider, I can tell you it is much, much more enjoyable to ride a bike along a paved path then a rocky, unpaved road. The latter is bumpy and painful. However, like a good read, a paved path is an enjoyable ride and goes quickly.
The sign “Do Not Get off Path” depicts Malamud’s dedication to the classical story. He did not veer 0ff path and tell an experimental story. Instead, he stayed true to the human experience.
Also, I grew up with a tandem bike. Our tandem bike was very old and difficult to ride. You had to sync your peddling and body tilt with that off the other rider to successfully ride the bike down the road. This reminds me of my own family and the Bober Family. The Bobers are struggling to get through life together. They have all had to give up something for each other in order to survive. Helen had to stop going to classes, and get a job. As in any family, my sister and I have had to learn to live together and balance each other out. My parents have obviously had to make compromises and learn to live together for the past thirty years. Every family is on a tandem bike, just trying to move forward.
According to Blair, Cornell’s art was a “dialogue with himself”. I asked a lot of questions to myself when I was trying to create a visual image of quick in The Assistant. What was it about Malamud’s writing style that I liked so much? And why do I like it compared to other styles? I discovered that I liked Malamud’s style because it is not pretentious. It does not try to sound smart or use big words. Instead, it focuses on the story of the people it is talking about. I am definitely not a person who needs to think deep thoughts to feel like I am being smart. I instead like things that affect me emotionally. Malamud’s Bober Family definitely does this. As as well as the transformation of Frank Alpine.