Free Choice In Chaim Potok's The Chosen

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To choose or to be chosen; which is better? The gift of choice is something not bestowed upon everyone, and this is especially true for the main character of Chaim Potok’s The Chosen. The novel describes the life of two boys, Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter, one of which has been granted the freedom to choose his own destiny, and the other has already had his life mapped out since the day of his birth. Throughout his childhood and much of his adolescence, Danny struggled between the life he wants and the one chosen for him by his father, Reb Saunders, the rabbi a Hasidic congregation. As the eldest son of his family, Danny has been born into the position of the future rabbi of his temple, however, he yearns for something much different. He …show more content…

Unfortunately, the gift of free choice is taken for granted by those who have it, and is constantly dreamed of by those who weren’t granted such liberty. In the novel, The Chosen, Danny Saunders, the eldest son of a Hasidic tsaddik, was not granted the freedom to choose his own destiny as it was predetermined that he was to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, Danny wanted more from life, and for the majority of his childhood and adolescence, continued to struggle between straying away to make his own choices or to stick with religious and familial tradition. The novel is centered around this conflict and the choices that Danny eventually made in order to create the life he desired, even if it meant sacrificing years of tradition and responsibility. Therefore, the book’s preliminary focus of choice making and one’s ability to make choices would make “The Choice” a more suitable title for the novel. Chaim Potok, the author of The Chosen sought to teach his readers that in a world filled with traditions and responsibilities that may trap us in a certain way of being, individual choice is a value that cannot be overridden, for it is far too important to wholeheartedly be

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