Three-Act Plot Analysis
Even though Reuven Malter is sure that Danny Saunders hit him in the glasses with a baseball on purpose, he soon learns that things aren’t always what they seem. At first, Reuven sees Danny as almost sub-human – or, at best, really different from himself. But very quickly, Reuven becomes Danny’s best friend and strongest ally.
Politics can be rough on a friendship, though it’s not Reuven and Danny’s politics that causes problems between them, rather the politics of their fathers. Reb Saunders vehemently opposes the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine (what is now the state of Israel). When he learns the extent to which David Malter publicly supports such a homeland, he forbids Danny and Reuven to have any contact whatsoever. On top of that, Danny is constantly watched. One false move, and it’s bye-bye psychology.
When Israel becomes a reality, the Reb relents and lets the boys resume their friendship. But Danny still has two big problems: his father still won’t talk to him about anything but Talmud, and he still hasn’t told his father that he plans to refuse his inheritance and pursue a secular education in psychology. Luckily, on the first day of Passover, 1949, the Reb breaks the silence and gives Danny his blessing to live his dreams.