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Word Count: 526
The Assistant is about Frank Alpines transformation from a petty thief into a compassionate self-sacrificing and loving human being Frank is a 25 years-old wanderer of Italian extraction who came from San Francisco to New York in search of a new and better life He is the protagonist in the story His past in conveyed by a series of incoherent memories of want guilt and failure Everything he does seems to be an effort to escape his past According to Frank a good person is someone whos honest with other people who can have discipline and have control over his action A good person also has good education but Frank doesnt have education at all For him St Francis is a very good person because he can speak with Good and call the birds Frank fails to understand the nature of his past but his passion is to change it He goes from lover to hater from victim to victimizer and from saint to criminal This ambivalent nature causes him problems to reach his goals He committed crimes and did not feel a thing or even at times experiences a curious pleasure from it He also regrets his crimes afterwards with an intensity that is almost suffocating The major problem is that Frank cant control his actions Page 64 and there is still something missing in his life His transformation is symbolized by his religious conversion at the end and his attempt to court Helen Morriss daughter Frank seeks acceptance as Morriss son-in-law but works tirelessly to support him to pay back his debt for the robbery Frank has a need for love that is almost insupportable Love or the lack or it causes Franks development and transformation throughout the book After he rapes Helen in the park she calls him an uncircumcised dog Page 115 afterwards and this is one reason why he has himself circumcised in the end It could also be
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