By Harold Bloom

Chaim Potok's the selected depicting the Jewish adventure in the United States is tested with a short biographical cartoon to supply perception into the author's lifestyles.

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Extra resources for Chaim Potok's The Chosen (Bloom's Guides)

Sample text

In this way, as noted by many scholars, psychology becomes Danny’s religion, seemingly replacing Judaism—the precise thing Reb fears. Not only does Danny have a godhead in Freud, but he approaches his texts in the same way one does the Talmud, thus making the association between Danny’s new secular religion and Judaism all the more tangible. Later that week, Reuven tells Danny that he and his father 56 will be leaving for a month to stay in a cottage near the Peekskills. Reuven gives Danny two books he thinks he’d like: The Making of the Modern Jew and The Nineteen Letters of Ben Uzziel.

Reuven and his father eat a lunch feast, prepared by Manya, and then Mr. Malter goes to his study to work on an article. Reuven walks through the apartment, overwhelmed by how new everything now appears to him, emphasizing again how much his perspective has shifted in this short time. His room, a narrow space, has New York Times war maps on the wall near his bed, as well as torn out magazine photos of Albert Einstein and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The door to his father’s study, where he hears a typewriter tapping, stands near the head of his bed, and he must pass through the study to reach the living room.

He tells Reuven about how the subconscious constructs dreams, though the messages are often encoded in symbols. Psychoanalysis, he says, helps unlock the subconscious, and he’s learning German so that he may read Freud’s work in its original form. Learning German, however, as critic Sternlicht observed, “the language then of the mortal enemies of the Jews, is an unconscious double act of aggressive rebellion and revenge against [Danny’s] father that Reuven senses but Danny disavows” (47). Indeed, Reuven goes cold at the notion of Danny learning and speaking German, but Danny defends himself, saying that just because Hitler speaks the language doesn’t mean it’s corrupt.

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