Reuven Malter In Chaim Potok's The Chosen

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Abraham Lincoln said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” A person’s character defines them. In Chaim Potok’s book The Chosen, the reader gains an understanding of the character qualities of Reuven Malter. Reuven proves himself a kindhearted young man through his behavior towards Danny Saunders as well as many others. Throughout the book, Reuven displays forgiveness, intelligence, and determination through adversity. Firstly, Reuven shows forgiveness to others in the book. A wise man once said, “Forgiveness defines a man of good character.” During a softball game, Danny Saunders, a boy on the other team, purposely hits the ball towards Reuven’s head. Reuven did not have time to react, and thus the hit caused a serious injury to his left eye and hospitalization for about a week. After staying in the hospital a couple days, Reuven received a surprise visit from Danny who tries apologizing. The furious Reuven demands that Danny leaves without hearing his apology. However, Reuven thinks about the circumstances and accepts Danny’s apology the next day. “Yesterday I had hated him: now we were calling each other by our first names” (67). While…show more content…
His actions towards Danny and Reb Saunders highlight his forgiving-nature. While the normal person would react with hatred, Reuven acted with understanding and grace. Likewise, many people admired Reuven for his intelligence. He worked hard by reading to acquire knowledge. Equally, Reuven’s determination drove him to success. Helen Keller once said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” The reader can understand the importance of good character. Many people admire and envy Reuven for his forgiving, intellectual, and determined
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