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The Chosen, written by Chaim Potok

The Chosen, written by Chaim Potok may relate to many universal topics, it is clear that it directly relates to the field of education. Mr. Potok has brought us on a journey, which allows many of us to see from an outside prospective, all of the factors, which account for a healthy education. It is a difficult task to relate a novel to the field of education; however, Mr. Potok has made my job easy. The book has received rave reviews from many sources, and the Chicago Tribune said: “…Works of this caliber should be occasion for sinning in the streets and shouting from the rooftops. ”

The story is about the friendship between two Jewish boys, growing up in New York City. The catch is that they are from two different sects, and have different ideas about the future. The first boy we meet is Reuven Malter, the son of a Jewish teacher, David Malter. He raises Reuven alone as his wife passed away. The other boy is Danny Saunders, who is the son of a very devoted Hassidic Jewish tzaddik. Danny is cursed with the fate of taking over his father’s position, and he does not want to do so. Reuven wants to become a mathematician. The accident, which seems as if it will separate these two boys in hatred, actually ends up uniting them.

It takes place on a baseball field, made up of concrete, and they are both on opposing teams. The incident occurs when Reuven is playing pitcher, and Danny is the batter. Reuven pitches the ball, and Danny hits it right into Reuvens eye. After being taken to the hospital, we find out that there is some glass in the eye and it must be taken out, and Reuven will remain in the hospital for several days. While in the eye-ward of the hospital, Reuven meets Mr. Savo, a retired boxer, with a patch over his right eye, and Bobby, a young boy who was blinded in a car accident.

They have an impact on his life, as he can see that other people have it worse than him. The story takes place in New York City during World War II, and being Jewish, the stage is set for a turbulent time. However there is something to be said about how an environment can alter ones actions. As we studied in Webb, and Anthology, the environment of the learning area is a big influence on the quality of education one will receive. It is interesting that the two boys are sons of prominent Jewish teachers, during WWII, as well as in New York City.

If you think about it they are actually worse off than regular Jews in the area at the time. This is a time that they are learning a lot from their parents, and their parents are plagued with leading their people into comfort, with so much violence directed at their people. While Reuven is in the hospital, Danny comes to visit him, and at first Reuven is still mad at him, and he gives him the cold shoulder. When he tells his father of his encounter with Danny Saunders, his father scolds him, and tells him to make friends with him.

Surprised, Reuven decides to give it a chance, and the next time Danny decides to visit, Reuven discovers that Danny is actually a nice-intelligent guy. As time passes, he discovers that Danny has been meeting Reuvens’ father in the library, and reading books that he was suggesting. That is interesting because Danny is supposed to be devoted to his religion and takes his fathers place when he gets older, however, he has been reading books about evolution. It is hard, as I am finding out right now, to follow your heart when your parents, and others are telling you what to do.

Danny’s father, Reb Saunders, is a peculiar man who is not a good teacher, in terms of what Danny is interested in. One method that he uses is not to talk to his son, as he feels that it will teach him compassion, and help him understand pain. David Malter, Reuven’s father is a journalist who is quite the opposite of Reb Saunders. He gives Reuven a lot of help in his quest for a good life. Mr. Malter helps him through the hard times, and shares his knowledge with his son. For example he said to his son “A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.

It is hard work to fill one’s life with meaning. ” Mr. Malter also sees Danny Saunders as a gifted child and wants to help him to reach his potential. Since Reuven gets a lot of help from his father, and Danny gets nothing from his, and Mr. Malter wants to help Danny, he uses Reuven to help Danny. He talks through Reuven about Danny, and as their friendship is blooming, Reuven talks to Danny about what his father said. There is a parallel to education here as well. First of all, the ability to recognize talent in a person is vital in all teachers. For instance, when I was in high school, I played only a little guitar.

The band director recognized a natural ability in me to play music, and so now today, I am going to make music my profession. If it were not for my band director, I may not have realized my own potential. Secondly, Mr. Malter is a very busy man but he finds time to teach his son, and Danny very important things. I think that this is important because, we all, not just teachers, must be willing to teach others what ever we can, that way we can all be benefiting at all times. As the novel develops we see Danny struggling with his plan to be a psychologist, and his fathers plan.

He does not want to upset his father, nor does he want to go against his religion. However, his father finds out about his plans and decides to set him free, he did not want to “keep such a genius in a cage. ” There are many universal theories in the novel, as well as many parallels to the field of education. It is important to understand that many factors play a role in the education of an individual. Take Reuven Malter for example. He is a young Jewish boy living in New York City during WWII. His mother is dead, and his father is the only one he has, until he meets Danny.

When he gets a friend he is from an opposing religious sect, and his father want to teach his friend not him. However it all works out, but the main point is that we, as educators, must take into consideration, the many variables in the life of each individual student. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and have been enlightened into a world I knew nothing about. Also, learned a lot about a religion I knew nothing about. In the future I will look at things in a different light, as I know contain the knowledge of The Chosen, as well as the knowledge, and insight of Chaim Potok.

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