Shaping One's Own Destiny: Chaim Potok's The Chosen

914 words - 4 pages

Danford 1Lucas DanfordHonors English 10Amy Warren18 September 2012Shaping One's Own DestinyImagine a young man who has immense intellectual power but whose strict religious traditions are holding him back from realizing his true potential. He must make a choice: consent to his father's wishes and follow in his footsteps to become the leader of his congregation or break free of his religion and also his father's wishes in order to realize his life as a scholar. This is the main conflict that is presented to the reader in Chaim Potok's The Chosen. Going against his father's wishes in order to become a psychologist is difficult but rewarding in the end.The young man discussed is Danny Saunders, who is intended to follow in his father's footsteps and take his place as the tzaddik for a group for Hasidic Jews. But Danny then meets Reuven Malter, a young Orthodox Jew, after Danny hits a ball at Reuven during a softball game and damages Reuven's eye. When Danny visits Reuven at the hospital to apologize, the duo become fast friends, and Danny confides that he has been visiting the library where Reuven's father, David Malter, frequents. Danny has been asking David for suggestions of books to read, then discussing them with him. This is where the seeds of Danny's wish to expand his mind are planted.Danny is fascinated by how much knowledge he is able to intake while reading a book. However, he is terrified of what his father might do if he discovers what Danny has been doing because the Hasidic culture has a set of strict religious traditions that shape how Hasids live their lives. He continues his studies in secret instead of addressing the problem.The reader gains more insight on exactly how isolated Danny is as a Hasidic Jew through Reb Saunders' speech about the kind of life a Hasidic Jew should lead. In his speech, Reb Saunders says,"Torah is a task for all day and all night. It is a task filled with danger. Does not Rabbi Meir teach us, 'He who is walking by the way and studying, and breaks off his study and says, "How fine is that tree, how fine is that field," him the Scripture regards as if he had forfeited his life'?" (Potok 132)After reading this, one can see that Danny cannot be a Hasidic Jew and a scholar because his religion doesn't allow it; he must choose one or the other because once one begins to study subjects other than the Torah, the Scripture regards one as a dead person.Danny's unease with his religion continues to grow when he reads Graetz's History of the Jews, which criticizes more traditional Jewish cultures, such as Hasidism. Graetz calls the...

Find Another Essay On Shaping One's Own Destiny: Chaim Potok's The Chosen

"The Chosen" by Chaim Potok, and "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

897 words - 4 pages Two young-adult novels -- The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, and The Giver, by Lois Lowry -- contain main characters who's lives are closely reflected to that of the other. These characters share similar feelings of frustration, and yet understanding towards their situations. Both characters were raised to respect the rules of their communities, however realize, through inner conflict, and a deeper understanding of self, that the only way to help not

"Important Events that Occur in Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter's Friendship, in the novel The Chosen, by Chaim Potok."

1417 words - 6 pages staple in many great works of literature. Chaim Potok does not deviate from this saying, and, in truth, uses symbolism in diverse and meaningful ways in his novel The Chosen. For instance, Potok creates layers of meaning by positioning Danny and Reuven's homes in areas that are separate but symbolically connected by a single street. Another example of symbolism would be Potok's treatment of light. Finally, Potok uses eyes and perception in

The Outsider in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own

762 words - 3 pages The Outsider in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own In A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf writes: "I had no wish to enter had I the right, and this time the verger might have stopped me, demanding perhaps my baptismal certificate, or a letter if introduction from the dean"(8). This particular line jumps out at me for several reasons. First off, I find it rather humorous. I was rather surprised by this remark as well. I did not think that I

The Struggle in Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev

2406 words - 10 pages        "If you were a genius in mathematics, I would understand. If you were a genius in writing, I would also understand. If you were a genius in Gemorra, I would certainly understand. But a genius in drawing is foolishness, and I will not let it interfere with our lives. Do you understand me, Asher?" (Potok 136). The struggle begins for young Asher Lev, a talented artist who tries to convince his father and the rest of his family of

"Important Events that Occur in Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter's Friendship, in the novel The Chosen, by Chaim Potok." Mr. Digout ELA B30 Amanda W

1260 words - 5 pages In the novel, The Chosen, written by Chaim Potok, the reader learns about some important events in Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter's friendship. One of the most important situations is where Reuven gets hit in his eye with a baseball which Danny has thrown. Another important aspect of their friendship is where Reb Saunders accepts his son's friendship with Reuven. Another significant event is Reb Saunders explaining why he raises Danny in

Shaping the belief to build destiny: Comments on the "As A Man Thinks" book for James Allan

892 words - 4 pages the two broad positions of human attitude, based on thought of course. These are roughly positive and negative, with a wide range of variability in between. It is these attitudes that make up man, who is made or unmade by his thoughts.Man is a creation by the almighty, and grows by the laws of the almighty. These laws present the catalyst which man uses to build his destiny. A catalyst formulated with righteousness will only result in good, and

Commerce, Politics and the City in A Room of One's Own and Mrs. Dalloway

2556 words - 10 pages Commerce, Politics and the City in A Room of One's Own and Mrs. Dalloway        "...At this moment, as so often happens in London, there was a complete lull and suspension of traffic. Nothing came down the street; nobody passed. A single leaf detached itself from the plane tree at the end of the street, and in that pause and suspension fell. Somehow it was like a signal falling, a signal pointing to a force in

Not in Control of Our Own Destiny: The Movie "Stranger than Fiction"

1066 words - 4 pages is the moment after Harold’s apartment is unexpectedly demolished by the crane that makes Harold realize he is not in control of his own destiny. This particular incident causes Harold’s transformation into an individual with an attitude of living his life to the fullest by causing him to start actualizing his life dream of playing a guitar, to start pursuing Ana who is of different worlds than him using irrational methods, and finally to drop the

Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own Woolf writes about the struggles that women of her time faced in writing

781 words - 3 pages In the novel, A Room Of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf it seems implausible thatone could miss the theme behind her writing. Even just by reading the title, it is self-explanatory. In order for a woman to write fiction she must have money, and a room ofone's own. Woolf stresses this throughout the novel. She directly says "Intellectualfreedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon intellectual freedom. Andwomen have always been poor

The Women's Anxiety Towards their Authorship - Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" and "Professions of Women"

1354 words - 5 pages authorship. Virginia Woolf frequently used the theme of gender inequality in her writings. This can particularly be seen in her work, "A Room of One's Own" and "Professions for Women".In Woolf's "A Room of One's Own", she depicts the struggle of women in the English society. She states that because these women are oppressed by male domination, hence the work that they produce is seen to be unimpressive that male writer's. Woolf invents Judith, an

In a world of increasing globalization, and individualization, we are more concerned with our own lives, choices, destiny than with the lives, choices, destiny of others

2175 words - 9 pages : in a world of increasing globalization, and individualization, we are more concerned with our own lives, choices, destiny than with the lives, choices, destiny of others.ANTHONY GIDDEN: Globalization is the way of the future. It will connect everyone with everything. No longer will there be divides within our society. Cultures will be bridge. Globalization is the natural result of human expansion. It will bring us all together. It is the key to

Similar Essays

The Chosen, By Chaim Potok Essay

1392 words - 6 pages The book, The Chosen is a book that has inspired many people in the world. It’s the story of two Jewish teenage boys coming of age in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York between 1944 and 1949. The author of this book, Chaim Potok was a well known writer in the late 1960s. Chaim rose to literary prominence’s when The Chosen became a best seller in 1967. Born in Bronx, New York, in 1929, Chaim like the two teens in his novel grew up in Brooklyn, New

Shaping A Life (The Chosen Essay

908 words - 4 pages just as readily been expressed by any number of people engaged in the world conflict. The controlling hate that Danny possessed and admitted to was a direct result of one man, his father. Reb Saunders' plan to shape Danny's life ultimately backfired, causing Danny to make his own decisions and come at life with his own emotions, beliefs, and feelings. Danny, unbeknownst to him, began a revolution of sorts by being what he wanted to be in life, not what some one else expected.Work Cited Potok, Chaim. The Chosen. New York: Ballantine Books, 1967.

Role Of The Fathers In Chaim Potok’s The Chosen

1051 words - 4 pages Role of the Fathers in Chaim Potok’s The Chosen Chaim Potok’s The Chosen is the story of a lasting friendship that blossoms between two Jewish boys, Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter, during and after World War II. On a deeper level, much of the plot focuses on the character of their fathers–Reb Saunders and David Malter–whose beliefs and ideals are rooted in two separate worlds. Reb Saunders is a zealous Hasidic rabbi who wants to impart

The Historical And Political Context Of The Novel "The Chosen" By Chaim Potok

1693 words - 7 pages The Historical and Political Context of "The Chosen""The Chosen" is a novel written by Chaim Potok. This novel takes place in Brooklyn around the time of World War II, and is centered around the characters Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders, both Jewish teenage boys. Reuven is an Orthodox Jew, while Danny is a Hasidic Jew. Throughout the book, a strong friendship develops between these two boys, despite their contrasting cultures. There is a