Chaim Potok's The Chosen Essay example

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Chaim Potok's The Chosen

In the book The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, Reuven Malter is shaped by everyone around him. During this interaction his character becomes more developed and engaging. Through the interactions, it becomes apparent that Reuven’s father is always teaching his child how to improve himself. The conversations between Reuven and his father help prepare Reuven develop the mentality and the personal qualities, such as wisdom, compassion, and tolerance, necessary to become a rabbi.

In all of their conversations, Mr. Malter seeks to pass his moral wisdom onto Reuven. At the beginning of the novel, after Reuven refuses to listen to Danny’s apology, his father visits him at the hospital to discuss his
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Malter to converse with Reuven about very important issues, some of which were current events. After talking about certain current events, Mr. Malter begins to talk about his life. At the end of his speech to Reuven, he says: “‘A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest’” (217). In the speech Reuven’s father gives to him, he talks about how short life is. He says Reuven is growing up and it is time to think of the future. The speech allows Reuven to understand his father’s aging as well as realize that he himself should live life to the fullest and do what he wishes. Giving his life a meaning and a purpose is something Reuven needs to do to succeed in the future, and Mr. Malter tells him to follow his heart in deciding occupations. Reuven’s father uses his knowledge to give Reuven a new perspective on a life, and to clear up uncertainty in his future.

Mr. Malter tries to teach his son understanding, compassion, and tolerance which are mandatory qualities of rabbis. A good example of this lesson occurs after Reuven has gone with Danny to Danny’s synagogue and does not comprehend the actions of Danny’s father and the tradition that took place. When he comes home to his father late at night, his father tries to help him comprehend what he just witnessed:
My father shook his head. “It’s not terrible, Reuven. Not for Danny, not for his father, and not for the people who listened. It is an old tradition, this kind of Talmudic
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