The Saunders share dinner each night, shrouded in Reb’s silence, whereas the Malter clan discusses the day and the Zionist movement. Towards the end of the novel, Danny reveals to Reuven, “you can listen to silence and learn from it” (267). Reuven cannot comprehend the meaning behind Danny’s statement because of the parenting technique David Malter utilizes; even with just father and son, conversation is constant. Reuven remains unsure of the point Reb Saunders tries to prove until the man orders an end to the boys’ friendship. Only then does he understand, as the boys communicate through looks instead of words. Not only do the parenting styles of each family differ, but the dynamics diverge. It is clear that Reb Saunders will not tolerate anything than what he declares, while David and Reuven act as an equal pair in their family dynamic. Both boys learn from the other’s father. David gives Danny knowledge through reading and books, proving that life involves more than just religion; Reb helps Reuven understand how to overcome differences and understand different points of view. Reb Saunders and David Malter interact with their sons in different ways, yet teach the boys invaluable
Danny’s father feels like this silence will make Danny become a better individual and teach him about compassion. However, Danny’s father does not realize how much this silence hurts Danny and how it causes him suffering. Even though Danny isn’t suffering physical pain like Reuven did in the beginning of the book, he is however, suffering emotionally, which to some extent, hurts just as much, if not more than physical pain. For a long time, Danny doesn’t understand his father’s methods of interacting or treating him like the reason why he won’t talk with him outside of their faith. Danny asks himself the “why,” but still doesn’t have any answers. Throughout the book, both Reuven and Danny go through suffering. Even though their suffering is different, it does not lessen the pain that they each face throughout this book.
In Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, two contrasting characters are introduced—Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders. They are opposites. While Reuven is forward—speaking his mind, Danny Saunders shows a stark contrast—an inflective soul, listening to silence, and growing from it. These characters set the stage for a lasting relationship to form, to be strengthened, and to be stressed.
Another type of silence in The Chosen is the silence that exists between Danny and Reuven and is no product of their own; it is the silence that Reb Saunders enforced upon them when he forbade them to speak or spend time together. It was a silence that came into being because of the different beliefs of their fathers, though only Danny’s father acted upon it. “There had been an explosion yesterday at breakfast, last night at supper, and this morning again at breakfast. Danny was not to see me, talk to me, listen to me, be found within four feet of me. My father and I had been excommunicated from the Saunders family.” (pg.230). The silence not only deeply hurt the boys, who were true friends, but also infuriated Reuven. Reuven had never approved of or understood the silence that Reb Saunders had created between himself and his son, and Reuven thought it to be cruel—after all, he had seen Danny’s pain and confusion over the matter and knew how hard it was for him. He was furious at Reb Saunders for not only tearing apart their friendship, but especially for tearing it apart with that hated silence. “I hated the silence between us and thought it unimaginable that Danny and his father never talked. Silence was ugly, it was black,
In “The Limits of Friendship” by Maria Konnikova, social media has significantly changed the way we interact with friends and family. Everybody thinks that using social media is the best way to talk to friends and family, however, in my opinion, they are wrong because it doesn’t give you the face-to-face connections we need as humans for social interaction. On the other hand, the great thing about using social media is you can connect with more people, but in a superficial kind of way. Therefore, we do not get the face-to-face interactions with our friends and family. We, the people that are addicted to social media, learn that without face-to-face conversations we wouldn’t have a normal “social” life outside of social media. The question
“Things are always how they seem, Reuven? Since when?” This quote represents the constant reoccurring concept that appears in The Chosen. It’s brought up in many ways where the reader or Reuven’s perception is altered because they don’t know the entire story. Reuven works well as a narrator because we share his position as an outsider looking in on the unfamiliar Hasidim ways. Reuven’s view of Danny Saunders, and his perceptions about Freudian psychology are examples of views that were changed throughout the story.
In The Chosen: A Jewish-American Literature, by Chaim Potak, there are two main characters: Daniel (Danny) Saunders and Reuven Malter. Given Danny and Reuven are two fifteen-year old boys who live in close proximity, one might think they are similar; however, they have many differences. They are both Jewish, but they have different customs when practicing Judaism. Both boys are being mostly reared by their fathers, yet in a distinctly different way. One of the greatest differences between the main characters is their appearance. Danny and Reuven meet one another while playing on opposing teams at a baseball game. Danny hits Reuven’s left eye with the ball, which causes Reuven to be rushed to the hospital, and Danny visits Reuven until he is able to go home. From that
Danny Saunders and Reuven Malters could not be more different in appearance. Following Hasidic traditions, Danny had long earlocks, wore a tzitzit, and wore shoes with a metal bottom. Also, by he is in college his beard is full-grown. The only aspect, appearance wise, that the boys had in common in the beginning of the story were their black skullcaps. Reuven had always worn glasses, but after spending countless years reading every chance he got, Danny needed them too. The stress caused by the reading and from the pressures of his family became too much on his eyes and they started to turn red and develop bags underneath them. As the firstborn son, Danny had known, for as long as he could remember, that he was to take his father’s place as tzaddik and lead his own congregation. But Danny knew that he did not belong up on a podium preaching, just like Reuven knew that he was not meant to be a math professor. Reuven’s father, David, was one of his best friends. He talked to him
Danny and Reuven represent deeply committed friends. Their live intertwine when historical circumstances , religious realities, and their father's differences in child rearing dramatically affect their respective senses of security and happiness.
Throughout the book, The Chosen, there are four major qualifying characters for the role of “The Chosen One”. David Malter is the father of Reuven Malter, and is an active Zionist. Reb Saunders is the father of Danny Saunders, and doesn’t talk to his son with the hopes of teaching him compassion. Reuven is Danny’s friend, and is a bridge among all the characters. Danny becomes friends with Reuven after hitting him in the eye with a softball, and also works with David in the library in secrecy. While all these characters have major roles, only one can be crowned with the winning title. Reuven Malter is “the chosen one”. Through the development of the character, Reuven, we see a sheltered young boy learn to find compassion in his heart all
The Things They Carried is a collection of stories about the Vietnam War that the author, Tim O’Brien, uses to convey his experiences and feelings about the war. The book is filled with stories about the men of Alpha Company and their lives in Vietnam and afterwards back in the United States. O’Brien captures the reader with graphic descriptions of the war that make one feel as if they were in Vietnam. The characters are unique and the reader feels sadness and compassion for them by the end of the novel. To O’Brien the novel is not only a compilation of stories, but also a release of the fears, sadness, and anger that he has felt because of the Vietnam War.
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 his knowledge of his religion upon Danny and expects his son to follow in his footsteps. David is a professor and single father who comes from a liberal Jewish background. As the friendship between Reuven and Danny grows, both fathers try to reconcile their views with their sons and with their own
In The Chosen, Potok describes the Jewish culture during the period of World War I. Beginning with the affluence of Polish Jews before the war, Potok established a circle of relationships. In the book, there are three main relationships. The first one is father-son, between Danny and his father, Reb Saunders and between Reuven and his father, David Malter. The relationship between Reuven and Danny is the second main relationship in The Chosen. The third main relationship is Hasidism verses Zionism.
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
Danny and Reuven’s relationship was a link between father and son, but this grew into something more, something life-long and unchanging. This friendship was true, it meant a lot to both of them, and their parents. However, after large disagreements in both Danny and Reuven’s religious lives and families, Reb Saunders excommunicates Reuven from the Hasidic community and Danny’s life.