The Chosen Critique

Essay by camkarCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Critique: The Chosen

In Potok's story, The Chosen, the author creates a character in which a lonely, determined young boy named Danny, growing up in Brooklyn at the end of World War II is trying to overcome the battle between his father's religious world and traditions, and the secular world in which he longs to be set free to. Because Danny's father, Reb Saunders, is the rabbi for a great Hasidic dynasty, Danny has grown up all his life with a future already chosen for him by the customs of his Jewish family's religion. However, Danny's dream is not to become a rabbi and for him to accomplish his dreams he had to step out of the religious world and rebel against his father's plan for him. Through these difficult times in Danny's life and conflicts between his father and him, we learn that Danny is a very lonely and determined person living trapped between the religious world and the secular world.

Growing up Danny spent most of his free time alone. His father told Danny that as long as Danny studied his quota of Talmud everyday, he didn't care what Danny did for the rest of his time. Because Danny thought that the Talmud was boring, he would rebel against his father's wishes and spend the rest of his time reading books in the library. He would read anything he could get his hands on as long as the librarian said they were worth while. At the library Danny sat and talked with the librarian about different books and which ones were good to read and not good to read. Many times these books were the kind his father would be very angry about him reading because they were books that his father was against. But Danny read them...