The novel by Chaim Potok revolves around Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders. The primary focus of this manuscript is to discuss and analyze the age process of both characters and explain issues that they struggled with as well as decisions that they made as they faced critical issues regarding religion, intellectual and politics. Danny and Reuven were aspiring to become rabbis during the Second World War. Reuven is the son of a Yeshiva educator, who is a modernist. On the other hand, Danny is the son of Shoah, who is a leader of Hasidic dynasty. In the process of age, the two helps one another to choose a path of service that is in the best interest of fulfilment of their desires and aims. Danny and Reuven face several challenges as they grow up. First, Danny is expected to inherit his father’s position of becoming Hasidic leader.
However, he is not happy with the idea since he wants to be a psychologist. On the other hander, Reuven experiences conflict of interest, in that he wants to become a rabbi but at the same time has a great desire in math. Additionally, the two characters face a great challenge in their friendship, which arises as rivalry between the two families. Reuven’s and Danny’s father Mr. Malter and Mr. Saunders respectively become rivals during the convergence at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Mr. Malter gives a speech regarding British control over the Palestine as well as the development of the Jewish state. Mr. Saunders discredits Mr. Malter speech and forbids Danny from interacting with Reuven. In this case, the friendship between Reuven and Danny takes a different path of separation and hatred. Reuven admits to his father that Danny’s father is a fanatic. The separation between the two characters brings more harm than benefits to both the parties. Reuven suffers emotionally and psychologically just thinking about what Danny is going through. Consequently, he gets a failing mark in his second semester exams.
Similarly, Danny is experiencing hard time without Reuven. He finds the estrangement and separation difficult to endure and much less to accept. The rivalry between their parents continues despite the difficulties that Danny and Reuven are facing. Reb Saunders convince his followers to form a group called the League to support and advocate for a religious Israel. On the other hand, Mr. Malter continues to speak actively and suggestively on the behalf of members of Jewish people in Palestine. However, the family rivalry comes to an end when the United Nations partitioned the Palestine nation into an Arab state and a Jewish nation. Later on, Danny was allowed to interact with Reuven again forgetting the rivalry that existed between the two families.
Most importantly, Danny and Reuven had to make critical decision regarding their religious, political as well as intellectual convictions. Danny decides to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, meaning he denies the inheritance of his father’s rabbical position. Reb accepts the fact that Danny has a brilliant mind and shall do well in the world especially in his practice of psychology. Reuven on the other hand, sticks with becoming a rabbi. However, he proceeds with his education until he graduates from Hirsch College. After graduation, Danny leaves to Columbia University, where he shall pursue Psychological studies. Before that, Danny shaves his beard and get rid of his ear locks, which represents Hasidic faith. In conclusion, the chosen is an important book that explains historical events, which are applicable in the current world.