The four figures epitomize the Jewish cultural and class struggles in inter-war Poland. The wise figure is a delicate, intelligent yeshiva bochur (unmarried student), dressed traditionally yet meticulously. His body language expresses the grace and modesty of the Torah student, ideally understood as an intellectual and religious aristocrat. In contrast, the wicked figure is a middle-aged bourgeois Jew dressed to show off his aspirations to Western European modernity.
the wise student has no props, not even a book, the wicked figure sports
a riding crop, a cigarette with cigarette holder, and a stylish monocle.
He is dressed in a hunting outfit with a jaunty Tyrollian hat with a feather,
an ascot around his neck, silk gloves and sharp spurs on his leather boots.
His stance is self-confident, self-contained and arrogant in contrast
to the simpleton who is fat and smiling, opening himself to the world
trustingly with arms and legs spread out.
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