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Themes

The Chosen is set in Brooklyn, New York, and begins as World War II is coming to a close and ends shortly after Israel is established as a state. So, war is huge factor in the novel, and references to war are on every page. Literal war drives many of the conflicts in the novel, and fuels the political conflicts that impact the characters in many ways. These conflicts leak into their personal and family lives, forcing them to make difficult choices. In the end, love wins out – but not without inner battles which might leave characters battle-scarred for life.

Questions About Warfare

  1. What does Reuven tell us about Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
  2. How do the different characters react to the news of the Holocaust?
  3. Why does the end of World War II cause so much conflict between the characters?
  4. How are war and baseball related in the novel? Why does baseball fade out of the picture as the novel develops?

Chew on This

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

Even though World War II and the conflict in Palestine are seen only from afar in The Chosen, they drive all the major conflicts in the novel.

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