Duddy’s obsession with land lies within his grandfather, Simcha. When Duddy was small, he spoke those unforgettable words to him,”A man without land is nobody.
“When it seemed as if nobody cared or respected him, Simcha did. Duddy did not receive the same kind of love from his father oruncle as Lennie did. When Duddy comes back from work at, heasks, “Why didn’t answer any of letters?” He replieshe wasn’t “one for letters. “”But Duddy remembered that when Lennie had worked as a campcounsellor one summer his father had written every week. He haddriven out to visit him twice. “(pp.
104 & 105)Duddy did not have the same kind of affection and devotion Lennieand Max shared. The same situation came from his uncle, Benjy. At first sight, Benjy described him as having a “thin craftyface, the quick black eyes and the restlessness_the grain soshrewd and knowing, all made a bad impression on Uncle Benjy. “(p. 61) Benjy supported Lennie, giving him money for hiseducation.
With the exception of Simcha, he had no otherparental support which is the reason why Simcha words had such agreat effect on him. Duddy gains what he had wanted in its acquisition, respect. Everyone except Simcha, Mr. MacPherson, and Uncle Benjy thoughthe was going to be a nobody. He wanted so much to prove themwrong and he has. We may say he has gained self assurance,restating the fact he was a somebody important.
Since his daysat Fletcher’s Field High School, he ran a gang based on respect,not friendship. Things do not change when he becomes an adult. Virgil is just one of the people Duddy uses to get money for hisland. He feels no grief for hurting his so called friendsbecause he has never experienced true friendship.
His purchasingof land would push him into higher step in society. What hegains is nothing compared to what he loses. Duddy has lost his innocence. No longer is he the pure and na?veboy as before, but now a corrupt, immoral man.
Duddy has chosena life without conscience or goodness, beginning a life with nomorals and corrupt “friends. ” He does not think twice to peoplehe has hurt which displays the deterioration of his character. He has traded morality for destructive materialistic values. Simcha believed in him but now looks at him in shame for he knowsthe respect he will gain is shallow. The strangers who respecthim look at his money, not at his heart.
To Simcha, money is noteverything. He has lived a life based on respect but forcharacter, not riches. Simcha’s words have impacted Duddy’s lifebut not in the way he wanted, never like this in his darkestnightmares. There is no more respect towards Duddy in Simcha’seyes but in this twisted world, respect from the overall public. Duddy knows of Simcha disapproves of his actions but at the end,he does not care, he thinks everything will be all right.
Thisis the kind of person he has turned out to be. Someone who doesnot understand what is wrong from right. His conscience feelsnothing, not even for the person who truly supported him from thestart. If this is how his mind works for someone he loves, itfrightening to think how his treats someone he hates.
He losesthe meaning of respect and decency and gains a numbness tocorruption. Simcha’s ironic words gained Duddy land but made hima heartless criminal.