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Excerpt from "Bread Givers" beginning “You heartless thing!”

“You heartless thing!” cried Bessie. “No wonder Father named you ‘Empty-Head.’ Here you go to look for work, and you come back with pink roses for your doll face.”

Undisturbed by the bitter words, Mashah finished the last stitch and then hung up her hat carefully over the door.

“I’m going to hear the free music in the park tonight,” she laughed to herself, with the pleasure before her, “and these pink roses on my hat to match out my pink calico will make me look just like the picture on the magazine cover.”

Bessie rushed over to Mashah’s fancy pink hat as if to tear it to pieces, but instead, she tore her own old hat from her head, flung it on the floor, and kicked it under the stove.

Mashah pushed up her shoulders and turned back to the mirror, taking the hairpins carefully from her long golden hair and fixing it in different ways. “It ain’t my fault if the shops are closed. If I take my lunch money for something pretty that I got to have, it don’t hurt you none.”

Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers, (New York: Persea Books, 1925), 3.
JWA use only on
Date / time
Yezierska, Anzia
Bread Givers
Date published
April 8, 1905

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Excerpt from "Bread Givers" beginning “You heartless thing!”." (Viewed on January 19, 2018) <>.


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