The Friendship and Event Development in The Chosen by Chaim Potok
One of the protagonists. lives with his dad in Brooklyn, goes to a Jewish school and studies the ten commandments. He is an intelligent boy and sees his dad as a wise man. Danny Saunders: The other protagonist, the son of a Hasidic Jewish Rabbi, very intelligent, has a photographic memory, very interested in science, does not want to follow his dad’s footsteps. Has a special friendship with Reuven.
Reb Saunders: Danny’s dad, a Rabbi of the Hasidic community in New York.only speaks to his son during church services, encourages his son to befriend Reuven. David Malter: Reuven’s dad, a faithful and confident jew, has a big influence on Danny and Reuven. He chooses books for Danny to read. The story starts off with a softball match between Reuven’s team and Danny’s team. Reuven pitches a ball and Danny hits it. The ball shatters Reuven’s glasses and nearly blinds him. Danny apologizes and they become friends after Reuven is released from the hospital. They discover that Reuven’s dad is the one that suggests books for Danny to read. Reuven meets Danny’s father and finds it strange that Danny and his father rarely talk. The tension rises when Reuven’s father wants to create a Jewish homeland. The boys aren’t allowed to speak to each other. Eventually, Danny’s father approves the friendship and explains the years of silence before excepting Danny’s decisions. World War 2 ends and reveals how many Jews were killed. Reuven’s father suggests to make a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Reb is strongly against this idea and forbids Danny to have contact with Reuven. (35 words) 6. Conclusion (about 30 words); do not mix info about film and novel; use the novel only. Danny decides not to be a rabbi and studies psychology instead.He is afraid to tell his father, but in the end, Reb has accepted Danny’s decision. Themes: World war II & war; Choosing & being chosen; Judaism & tradition; Silence; Friendship; Fathers, sons & rebellion; Eyes & blindness. 1. Find quotes that go with your theme. A minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 quotes with explanation.
Make sure your quotes cover the entire novel. Include page numbers from the digital version on SOM. page 108 ‘I thought you said your father never talks to you.’ ‘He doesn’t. Except when we study Talmud. But he did this time. I got up enough courage to tell him about you, and he said to bring you over today. That’s the longest sentence he’s said to me in years. Except for the time I had to convince him to let us have a ball team Here Reuven is talking with Danny about the fact that he doesn’t speak to his father. This is one of the first times the silence between Reb and Danny is very clearly stated. The part shows that Reb finds the friendship between Danny and Reuven very important. Reb finds it important enough to even speak to his son about it and tell his son it is alright to become friends with Reuven. The part that states that it is the longest sentence in years is also an important part because it shows the length of the silence between father and son. page 116 The noise inside the synagogue ceased so abruptly that I felt its absence as one would a sudden lack of air. It stopped in swift waves, beginning at the rear of the synagogue and ending at the chairs near the podium. I heard no signal and no call for silence; it simply stopped cut off as if a door had slammed shut on a playroom filled with children. The silence that followed had a strange quality to it: expectation, eagerness, love, awe.
This quote depicts the power that Reb Saunders has on his followers. His presence alone can make the whole room go quiet. You can clearly tell how much admiration his followers have for him. page 158 From the moment he entered• the room and saw my face, I knew he was aware that something had happened during his absence. We sipped our tea in silence, and I saw him glance at me from over the rim of his glass, He knew, all right. He knew something had happened between his father and me. Here you can see that silence can speak many words. Reuven didn’t have to say a word and Danny could figure out that something had happened between Reuven and Reb, in this case, that his father figured out that he was reading books in the library he wasn’t supposed to read. The silence and the looks on their faces were enough to convey the message. page 160 Silence? What do you mean, Danny is being brought up in silence?’ His eyes were wide. ‘They never talk, abba. Except when they study Talmud. That’s what Danny told me.’ In this part of the story, David Malter finds out that Danny is growing up without his father speaking to him. David is very shocked by this information and is trying to figure out Reb’s reasoning, but he can’t form a clear explanation for this method of raising children. David’s reaction shows that raising your children in silence is very uncommon in his Jewish religious movement. page 189 You want to know how I feel about my father? I admire him. I don’t know what he’s trying to do to me with this weird silence that he’s established between us, but I admire him. I think he’s a great man. I respect him and trust him completely, which is why I think I can live with his silence.
Danny explains that his father is a very important part of his life and that he loves him. He also greatly admires him, enough to live with the fact that his father only rarely talks to him. Although he doesn’t know why his father is raising him is silence. This shows that the bond between Danny and his father is very strong. page 205 Poor Danny, I thought. Professor Appleman, with his experimental psychology, is torturing your mind. And your father, with his bizarre silence–which I still couldn’t understand, no matter how often I thought about it–is torturing your soul. This quote shows how Reuven thinks about the silence Danny’s father is using to raise his son. He believes Reb is using the silence to punish his son and despises Reb for it. Reuven cannot understand the reasoning behind the raising in silence and so says that the silence is torturing his soul. Danny doesn’t like the lessons because he finds them too scientific, thus torturing his mind. page 216 I hated the silence between us and thought it unimaginable that Danny and his father never really talked. Silence was ugly, it was black, it leered, it was cancerous, it was death. I hated it, and I hated Reb Saunders for forcing it upon me and his son. Reuven and Danny aren’t allowed to speak to each other, because Reb doesn’t agree with the suggestion David has.
David wants to create a Jewish homeland, but Reb says that they have to wait until the Massiah leads them to the state. Reuven cannot handle the sudden silence and really hates it. He cannot comprehend how Danny is used to this silence and has read nothing else from his father since he was eleven years old. In this quote, Reuven tries to sketch how the silence feels for him. All the words he uses are negative. This clearly states that he really doesn’t like it. page 223 I was tempted more than once to scream at the groups of anti-Zionist students huddling together in the halls and classrooms that they ought to go join the Arabs and the British if they were so opposed to the Jewish state. But I managed somehow to control myself and remain silent. In subsequent weeks, I was grateful for that silence.Their pain over this new outbreak of violence against the Jews of Palestine outweighed their hatred of Zionism. They did not become Zionists; they merely became silent. I was glad during those weeks that I had restrained my anger. This part describes how Reuven discovers that silence can be a good thing too. He chooses to stay quiet instead of becoming angry and starting to yell at them. If he did lose control, it was likely to put him even more in the spotlight and them bad things could happen to him. When Reuven discovered that silence can have a good side, he began to understand a little bit of Reb’s way of raising Danny. page 260 My father himself never talked to me, except when we studied together. He taught me with silence. He taught me to look into myself, to find my own strength, to walk around inside myself in company with my soul.
When his people would ask him why he was so silent with his son, he would say to them that he did not like to talk, words are cruel, words play tricks, they distort what is in the heart, they conceal the heart, the heart speaks through silence. Here Reb Saunders explains why he taught his son in silence for so many years. He didn’t do it to punish his son or to make his son miserable. He did it because he loved his son and wanted him to learn compassion, love and how to find the way to his own soul. Danny understands why his father taught him in silence and isn’t angry. He now understands why his father had to do it. page 266 Danny,’ he said softly, ‘when you have a son of your own, you will raise him in silence?’ Danny said nothing for a long time. Then his right hand rose slowly to the side of his face and with his thumb and forefinger he gently caressed an imaginary earlock. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘If I can’t find another way.’ Reb asks Danny if he would raise his own son the same way he did. Danny answers that he would if he didn’t have another choice. Danny understands his father and believes that it is not the best and most pleasant way to teach love and compassion, but if he had too, he would use this method to teach his son. This again, shows how strong the bond between Danny and Reb is and how much they love each other. Even years of silence between them couldn’t stop them from loving each other. (1390 words) 2. What information from the novel is new to you?
Mention three specific instances of this new information and what it taught you. The first thing that was new for us was the strict Jewish faith. We did not know a lot about the Jewish religion before we had read the novel. The Jewish faith is one of the main themes of the novel and there were a lot of new things that we didn’t know. For instance, we didn’t think that the Jewish faith was so strict. You may only be friends with someone who is also Jewish. In the novel, Danny is allowed to become friends with Reuven. The fact that Reuven is Jewish plays a big role in the decision that Reuven and Danny may become friends. The second thing that we learned is that there are separate classes for studying the Talmud at Jewish schools and that it is a big part of daily life. When Danny and Reuven are studying psychology they spent the entire afternoon studying Talmud and following Talmud lessons. There are also a lot of explanations for a couple of sentences and its hard to explain them as thorough as possible. The third thing we learned is that sometimes it’s important to just observe, stay quiet and listen. In the book, Danny visits Reuven in the hospital, but Reuven sends him away immediately.
David told Reuven that he should listen to Danny and give him a chance. This advice is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two. This friendship couldn’t exist if Reuven didn’t give Danny a chance even though he was angry at him. (252 words) 3. In what way is the theme of your choice expressed in the film and in what way is that different from the novel? Silence is mentioned a couple of times in the film, but the novel mentions it frequently. The most important silences are clearly mentioned in the film, such as the explanation that Reb gives at the end. Here he explains why he raised Danny in silence. One of the differences in the explanation is that at the and of it Reb hugs Danny, but in the novel, Reuven hugs Danny. The silence that was forced by Reb was also in the novel as well as in the film. The novel spends more time building up the confusion as to why Reb raised Danny in silence. The film didn’t achieve this as well as the book did.
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