The Three Basic Needs of a Friendship The Chosen

Essay by dlitty13Junior High, 9th gradeA+, March 2008

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Although "opposites attract," acquaintances often have many similar characteristics. In Chaim Potok's The Chosen, Danny and Reuven, the two protagonists, share several qualities. They are both genuine, loyal people that are incredibly serious about practicing their religion. Their religions, taught to them by their fathers, are responsible for many of their traits. Danny and Reuven's friendship thrives on their forgiveness, honesty, and compassion.

Danny and Reuven are both willing to exonerate each other for their mistakes. Both boys are patient and forgiving for the sake of their friendship. "I moved my wrist slowly. It still hurt. That Danny Saunders was a smart one, and I hated him. I wondered what he was thinking now. Probably gloating and bragging about the ball game to his friends. That miserable Hasid!" (Potok 46). Reuven childishly rants using strong words to describe his aggravated feelings. The hatred that Reuven expresses toward the "gloating and bragging" Danny progressively disappears when Reuven patiently listens to Danny's second attempt at explaining his actions.

Although the first confrontation between the boys does not go well, Danny is determined to gain Reuven's forgiveness. His second attempt occurs the day after his first: "'Are you going to get angry at me again?' he asked hesitantly. ' No' I said" (Potok 66). The actions and expressions of the boys change drastically from the first confrontation to the second. They each have a chance to calm down and think about what happened the day before. Reuven had the opportunity to talk it over with his father and to step back and think about the true significance of the incident. He came to the conclusion that it is better to be forgiving and give Danny a chance to explain himself. Reuven's eventual forgiveness is significant because most people would hold...