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by Chaim Potok
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They affect the characters in the novel. The story is about two Jewish teenagers growing up. The difference between those boys is that Reuven Malter has more flexible religious customs compared to Danny Saunders, who comes from a very strict Hasidic background. In the chosen love has a deep, difficult and mysterious meaning. Two boys, Danny and Reuven, move from angry competition to friendship and from friendship to brotherly.

The relationships between Reuven and his father David Malter and Danny and his father Reb Saunders are very important in the story. The relationship with the father dominates the novel.

The fathers of the story both have another idea of parenting. Reb, the father of Danny, is very strict compared to David Malter, who has an open and warm relationship with Reuven. Potok often mentions the Talmud, the Jewish law, in his book The Chosen. The Talmud or the Talmudic study in The Chosen symbolizes the importance of actively engaging tradition. Potok wants to pursue knowledge in order to attain a personal and unique interpretation of Judaism and the world.

Eyes and eyeglasses represent vision. When Danny and Reuven became friends, Danny works to make Reuven more willing and aware to open his eyes to the world. Potok wants to symbolize the importance of perception and also the way interaction can improve perception. In The Chosen such a change is associated with an age of religious responsibility.

The Chosen deals with the psychological and moral growth associated with coming of age. Reuven and Danny are developing a political opinion and during the story they learn more about themselves and the society. At the end of the story, they are free to make their own decisions in life. Postmodernism is a late 20th century movement. The most striking feature of postmodernism is the questioning of truth.

The genre was still in its infancy when Chain Potok wrote this book. The characters in the book do have different ideas of living a good life. Reuven accepted his apology and they began to talk about different things. They became friends and kept seeing each other after Reuven got out of the hospital.

One day Reuven went over to Danny's house to meet his father. Danny's father was a rabbi and raised his son by means of silence. They never talked except when they studied the Torah together. Reuvens's father was a Zionist and Danny's father was an anti-Zionist so neither was fond of the other but allowed Danny and Reuven to still be friends.

Because Danny's father was a rabbi, it was Danny's inherited trait to also one day become a rabbi and take his father's place. Danny, how ever, wanted to be a psychologist not a rabbi. Reuven did not have to be a rabbi but wanted to be one. He does not talk to Danny except when they study Talmud together. This is how Reb Saunders was raised by his own father. The intention is that because the son does not have his father to talk to, he will be forced to turn within himself, to find strength.

He will learn to find answers for himself. This will involve pain, but Reb Saunders believes that pain and suffering lead to empathy with the suffering of others. Reb Saunders guessed that his son, because he was living in a country where access to other forms of knowledge was freely available, might not remain within the fold of the Hasidic sect.

He decided that by raising him in silence, he could give him the soul of a tzaddik a righteous leader , who could feel all the suffering in the world, even if he chose another profession. Other characters in the novel, such as David and Reuven Malter, disapprove of Reb Saunders's raising of his son in silence.

It certainly causes a lot of pain to Danny, and perhaps fuels his desire to rebel against his father, although he never says that he dislikes his father. On the contrary, he says he respects him. It is questionable, however, whether the method of teaching by silence achieves the goals that Reb Saunders desires.

It does not make Danny especially sensitive to the suffering of others Reuven has as much and probably more compassion for others than Danny. However, at the end of the novel, when Malter asks Danny if he would raise his own son in silence, Danny replies that he would, if he could find no other way. This rather ambivalent answer suggests that Danny does not resent the way he was raised, and regards it as a legitimate method, although he also leaves open the possibility that there may be better ways.

How does the novel demonstrate the value of education? The Chosen is unusual amongst American novels in that it extols the value of intellectual pursuits amongst the young.

Reuven and Danny are hardly typical American teenagers. When they meet at the beginning of the novel, they are only fifteen years old, but their lives are already intellectually rich, and they spend many hours studying.

They seem to have little time the occasional softball game apart for life's trivial pursuits. It is not long before Danny, still only fifteen, starts teaching himself German in order to read Freud, while Reuven, sitting alongside Danny in the public library, reads a scholarly article on symbolic logic. Danny and Reuven both convey the thrill and the joy of learning. This is an environment where books and ideas matter; the characters pursue their intellectual interests with passion.

The arguments over the Talmud in Reb Saunders's study become as passionate and exciting as the baseball game. This emphasis in the novel can be seen as a tribute to the Jewish tradition, which has always emphasized the value of education and learning.

The boys inherit their love of learning from their fathers. Both David Malter and Reb Saunders are learned men, and they both try in different ways to pass on their learning to their sons. They have very different attitudes to education, however, and employ different methods. Malter values what modern scholarship has to offer. For example, he evaluates the history of Hasidism critically and rationally. He keeps a balance between faith and honest intellectual inquiry.

He is not hostile to the secular world of learning. For Reb Saunders, however, education is valuable only if it enhances the knowledge and practice of Hasidism. Log in or register to post comments. We provide an educational supplement for better understanding of classic and contemporary literature.

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- The Chosen by Chaim Potok The novel, The Chosen, written by Chaim Potok, is a very interesting novel that opens a reader's mind to the religion of Judaism and the different trials Jews had to go through.

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Essay Chaim Potok's The Chosen – Rueven and Danny - The Chosen – Rueven and Danny In the novel, The Chosen, Chaim Potok successfully captures the strange customs of a Jewish community through wit and satire. The Chosen Essay. BACK; Writer’s block can be painful, but we’ll help get you over the hump and build a great outline for your paper. Organize Your Thoughts in 6 Simple Steps Narrow your focus. Build out your thesis and paragraphs. Vanquish .