The Slave and Satan in Goray

A literary review and comparison of two novels by Isaac Bashevis Singer: “The Slave” and “Satan in Goray”.

This paper compares two different novels by Isaac Bashevis Singer. The first, “The Slave”, is a personal look at the role of religion in life, while “Satan in Goray” is a larger-than-life look at religious Messianic fervor. The paper looks at the background and upbringing of the author and explains how he came to write about these topics. Both novels are centered on the theme of religion and delve deeply into a number of passions.
“The Slave tells the story of Jacob, a Jewish slave, who falls in love with his Gentile master’s daughter, Wanda. The story takes place in 17th century Poland. Jacob is ransomed, but cannot live without Wanda. The two escape together to a quiet Jewish community, where they try to keep their secret. Jacob is increasingly disturbed by his sin in taking a Gentile wife, and the two often have difficulty in concealing Wanda’s true identity. Because Wanda cannot speak Yiddish, she must pose as a mute. Wanda eventually speaks under the pain of childbirth, and after her death is buried as an outcast.”