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The Chosen

The Chosen


by Chaim Potok

The Chosen Theme of Visions of America

The main characters in The Chosen are first and second-generation Jewish immigrants living in Brooklyn, New York at the end of World War II and the years immediately following. To varying degrees, they all view America as a land of hope, where they can enjoy religious, economic, and educational freedom. On the other hand, there is a danger that their individuality and tradition will be lost in the vastness of American life. As we watch the characters try to resolve this conflict, our own visions of America are expanded and challenged.

Questions About Visions of America

  1. Does this novel change your vision of America? If so, how?
  2. How do Reb Saunders and David Malter differ in their visions of America?
  3. Do Danny and Reuven have different views on what America is all about?
  4. What does the American Dream mean to our four main characters?
  5. Do the four main characters have to compromise their beliefs to be American, or are they able to find a balance?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

By giving Danny his blessing to freely explore America, Reb Saunders is opening his community to a less isolated lifestyle.

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