Silence In Chaim Potok's How The Chosen

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How The Chosen focuses on silence By Beni Halmos
In 1967, the American Jewish writer and Rabbi Chaim Potok released his book, named The Chosen. It is a book set over a course of 6 years in Brooklyn in the 1940’s, and is about two Jewish boys with different cultural background and their friendship. The two boys, Reuven and Danny, only get to know each other because of an accident during baseball, despite living 5 blocks from each other for the past 15 years of their lives. Throughout the book, the two get a taste of each other’s culture, and their friendship gets tested multiple times due to the tension rising as their culture collides with each other. Apart on focusing on their friendship and culture, The Chosen talks about the importance …show more content…

I had finally come to accept it. We had begun to communicate with out wyes, with nods of our heads, with gestures of our hands. But we did not speak to each other. I had no idea how he was getting along in psychology, or how his family was, but I heard no bad news, so I assumed things were more or less all right.”
[Potok, p 243]
Even though Danny hates it as well, he accepts it, but Reuven is furious at Reb Saunders for torturing his son even further. He believes that the silence is not only destroying his relationship with Danny, but also Danny’s soul. When Reuven speaks with Reb Saunders again on Saturdays, Saunders does not say anything about the two year ban between the two boys, which Reuven finds frustrating and weird. Reuven did however learn a lot about silence in these two years, as he never thought silence could be so full.
Another reason why The Chosen mainly focuses on silence can be seen by looking at the way the book is written. For most people, silence is awkward and empty, and generally the absence of sounds and detail. Chaim Potok however, has described silence in numerous ways throughout the book. He had created atmospheres with pleasant silences, eager silences, and much more. An example of the book

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