Chaim Potok The Chosen Essay

1046 words - 5 pages

Potok’s Relationships
Chaim Potok was born on February in the Bronx, New York. He attended a parochial Jewish school that was called a yeshiva. As a young boy he had keen interests in the arts, but his father and teachers discouraged him from those things because they were considered rebellious acts to God. His parents indulged him enough to write short stories. Potok studied English literature at Yeshiva University graduating in 1950. After completing his formal education in the 1960’s, he earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. For work, he found jobs at Jewish seminaries. Potok was married in 1958 and had two daughters. Potok has written eight novels ...view middle of the document...

Danny’s father disapproves of apikorsim, which is Jews who are not extremely orthodox. His father is against anything secular, and that is what Danny is interested in. In the end of the novel on the day of Passover, Reb Saunders accepts Danny’s decision to become a modern psychologist when Reuven announces that he wants to become a rabbi. The rabbi position is filled, therefore Danny can pursue his dreams and Reb Saunders knows that Danny has the soul of a tzaddik (Napierkowski 44-45).
Potok demonstrates the relationship between Reuven and his father David Malter throughout his novel. “The relationship between Reuven and his father is a tender one, made all the more trusting by the easy and affectionate exchange of confidences that go on between them” ( Bluefarb 2/4). Reuven’s father unlike, Danny’s is orthodox and secularized, but he is a respected scholar of the Talmud. Malter is also a writer of controversial religious texts which he takes a rational approach to the sacred works. Reuven’s father teaches him not to take things for granted but to analyze them critically. Reuvens father encourages his intellect and wants him to be fully analytical of the world around him (Evans 58). Their relationship is the opposite of Danny and Reb. Saunders. Which means Danny and Reuven being best friends will create conflict between the families.
Potok demonstrates the relationship between Reuven and Danny all throughout the novel. Reuven and Danny first met at a baseball game, they were playing each others team. They were actually saying insults to one another and Danny takes his frustration out on a baseball and hits Reuven in the face and sends him to the hospital. Danny felt bad and visited Reuven in the hospital to apologize but Reuven will not accept. Danny tries again and this time they develop an admiration for one another. The hospital is also where both were born and its where their relationship came to life. As the novel goes on the boys become close friends and Reuven wins the approval of Reb. Saunders. During the boys last year of high school David...

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