Paradox In The Chosen

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Human is a paradox existence. In the novel The Chosen by Chaim Potok, a vivid example of the paradox was presented, as the conflict between old-world values and new-world values. Reb Saunders, an extremely complex, self-restraining character, represented the struggle of being a conservative orthodox of a parent in an evolving and liberal world. As the least understood person by the narrator, Reb’s image was filtered by the harsh judgement of Reuven, under the caring heart for his dear friend Danny. Thus for most of the novel, Reb Saunders appeared to be an extraordinarily limited character, who embodied the stereotypes of an intolerant religious fanatic and of a controlling and overprotecting father. But was he more than just a domineering father who suppressed his son’s pursue of knowledge? As the story progressed, readers can see that under the overt appearance of a…show more content…
Some readers might brush him off as a religious fanatic and a cruel, domineering father; others might identify with his struggle to raise his son how he thinks best. Some might be moved by Reb Saunders’s tears of apology; others might think that he abused Danny and that his apology could not possibly make up for it. Like Reuven, nobody is quite sure just how to feel about Reb Saunders by the end of the novel, which is actually a good thing in a different angle. It meant that The Chosen had accomplished a big goal. It enabled the readers to see beyond the surface of things and people, into deeper meanings. In the end, even through the rather judgmental filtration of the narrator’s view, Reb Saunders was presented as a very complex, conflicted, and multifaceted character. He represented the dangers of fanaticism and harmful isolationist behavior, but he also showed a profound, painful love for Danny and a deeply human sense of the importance of empathy and
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