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The Chosen

             The narrator of the story is Reuven Malter. The protagonist in the book however is Danny Saunders, his friend. The main conflict is about Danny's attitude towards his father and with him the Jewish Orthodox traditions. He is supposed to be the ancestor of his father and the intended leader of the Hassidic community. Danny however has got a serious problem: he is highly intelligent. His father has a special way of expressing that: " I went away and cried to the Master of the Universe, "What have you done to me? A mind like this I need for a son? A heart I need for my son, a soul I need for a son, compassion I want from my son, righteousness, mercy, strength to suffer and carry pain, that I want from my son, not a mind without a soul!"" Throughout the book Reb Saunders was convinced that he had to raise his son in complete silence in order to develop a soul, compassion, mercy, etc. in his son. Finally he explains all that through Reuven to his son and I think that is a positive development in the relationship between Danny and his father. In the end of the story he and his father come to a decision about Danny's future; he is allowed to break with the Jewish traditions and to study psychology. Although one may differ from opinion about this way of education and raising a child, I have great respect for the emotional efforts and sacrifices of the father. .
             2. There is certainly symbolism and irony in the title. The Chosen are the Orthodox Jews who consider themselves God's Chosen People. But in the story The Chosen also refers to Danny who has been chosen by his father to become the next Rabbi. (This title is inherited by birth but can also be fulfilled by his brother) In the end Danny has chosen not to become the tsaddik. Another example of symbolism is the day that Reb Saunders told Reuven and Danny all about his life and his way of educating Danny. That day was the Festival of Freedom for the Jews and at the same time it was the day that Danny became free to direct his own life.

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