Analysis "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, is a
book about friendship between two boys from vastly different religious Jewish backgrounds. Their initial distrust and hatred for each other, because of their different backgrounds, gives way to understanding, and develops into a deep friendship. Each character grew up in a tight community. Their deep study of their traditions has led them to be ignorant of the outside world.
Daniel Saunders is the son of Rabbi Reb Saunders and the protagonist of the novel. He is a brilliant boy who is confused by the ideologies of his Hasidic religion. Despite his confusion, he is very open-minded. His ancestors for the past five generations had been very honorable and respected rabbis in their own synagogues. He was expected to grow up and take over his father's position. Despite Danny's interest in reading outside
books and his trips to the library, he is also deeply religious and a great Talmud scholar. His friendship with Reuven Malter, who is supposedly less religious than Hasidics are expected to be, drew him into a secular world affecting some of his viewpoints and values of the world. By meeting Reuven Malter, he realized many things that he has been missing, he realizes the differences in the way they are raised, treated and their cultures. Daniel's character in the book has been waiting for a reason to "rebel" against his father's ways. Reb Saunders was very aware of his son's views but tried to avoid it throughout the book by using the method of silence. Reb Saunders has stated in the last chapter(p.267) that he knew about everything all along, " You think I was cruel? Yes, I see from your eyes that you think I was cruel to my Daniel. Perhaps. But he has learned. Let my Daniel become a psychologist. I do not see his books? I did not see the letters from the universities? I do not see his eyes? I do not hear his soul crying? Of course I know."
Reb Saunders character in the book was very strict and closed-minded. He believes that orthodox are corrupt in their beliefs, that they should be studying the Torah a lot more, and be much more religious in everything they do, such as praying to God. One event that showed his fixed views of the world was during the issue of the Jewish state. He exploded on Reuven when he mentioned the idea of it. He has grown up strictly following what the Torah demands and refuses to listen to anything that criticizes such method of life. He extremely believes in the fact that they should wait for the arrival of the Messiah before taking action by making a Jewish state.(p.187) " the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should be built by Jewish goiyum, by contaminated men? Never, not while I live!". Another time his strong beliefs of Judaism affected his decision was during the Zionist movement. When David Malter made the speech concerning a Jewish homeland that greatly influenced the world, Reb Saunders prohibited his son to speak to Reuven until the anti-Zionist movement failed and he had to face the reality of it.
Rav Gershanson was the professor of the Talmud class at Hirsch College. He appreciates the brilliance of both Danny and Reuven, but advises them to keep radical thinking away from his class. I think Rav Gershanson is very open-minded about things because although he agrees with David Malter's method of The Talmud, he agreed to change it because the school opposes it. Rav has stated (p.237) "I am myself not opposed to such a method. But I must ask you never to use it in my class." Reuven could not find Rav Gershanson's name in the school library because Rav Gershanson refuses to write without using the scientific method because that would be hypocritical.
Despite the differences between Danny and Reuven's characters, they were able still to develop a close intimate friendship between them and surpass the hardships. Chaim Potok was very successful with using allusion and metaphors throughout the novel. Very subtly throughout the book he uses this for the purposes of reinforcing his points, foreshadowing, and to make the book deeper.
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The Chosen The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, is a book about friendship between two boys from vastly different religious Jewish backgrounds. Their initial distrust and hatred for each other because of their differing backgrounds gives way to undestanding, and develops into a deep friendship. Danny Saunders is brought up in a Chasidic environment. His father is the Reuven Malters Development In The Chosen Sample essay topic, essay writing: Reuven Malters Development In The Chosen - 705 words
Malter's Development in The ChosenOne of the most emotional scenes from Chaim Potok's The Chosen is whenReuven goes with Danny Saunders to talk to his father. Danny has a greatmind and wants to use it to study psychology, not become a Hasidictzaddik. Two Boys, One American Dream Sample essay topic, essay writing: Two Boys, One American Dream - 906 words
TWO BOYS, ONE AMERICAN DREAMBaseball is a rugged sport, uniquely American. Two Jewish boys meet during one of the most hotly contested baseball games of the high school season, in New York City during World War II. The teams' rivalry-one team are Hassidim, The Chosen Review Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Chosen Review - 672 words
History plays a large role in shaping the character of Rueven and Danny's characters because they each have strong spiritual fathers that laid a foundation for them, their respective religions have very different roots, and they find that they have differences from these religions. Both Biography of Chaim Potok Chaim Potok, born Herman Harold Potok, was the son of Polish immigrants and was reared in an Orthodox Jewish home. He was born in February of 1929 in New York City, where he attended religious schools. However, as a young man he became fascinated by less restrictive Jewish doctrines, particularly the Conservative side of Judaism.
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