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Free Study Guide-The Chosen by Chaim Potok-Free Online Booknotes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 4

Summary

When Reuven's father visits his son again, Reuven tells him of Danny's visits. Being liberal, his father advises Reuven to accept Danny as a friend, but the boy is surprised at his father's encouragement since Danny is Hasidic. Mr. Savo, overhearing the conversation between father and son, warns Reuven to keep away from Danny since his sect is a fanatical one.

In the middle of the night, Reuven wakes up to find the curtains around Mr. Savo's bed drawn, and doctors and nurses bustling in and out. When he asks what is happening, no one will answer him. The next day Reuven grows really worried, for the curtains remain drawn.

Danny comes for another visit with Reuven. In their conversation, he reveals to Reuven that he has mixed feelings about his Hasidic sect and even has questions about God. He also admits to secretly reading many English books, most of them recommended by a learned man in the library. Reuven cannot understand how Danny, with all his questions and discomfort, can accept becoming a rabbi; but Danny insists that he has no choice. He is expected to study and take over the mantle of his father.


While the boys are deep in discussion, Reuven's father arrives. Danny's shows his surprise to learn that the man is Reuven's father, for he is the same man that has been referring books for him to read in the library. Reuven is amazed at the turn of events.

After Danny leaves, Reuven tells his father that he is totally surprised and a little miffed to learn that Mr. Malter knows Danny and has never said anything about it.

Reuven is worried the next day when he sees that Billy's curtain has been drawn around the bed. He is also concerned when he hears his own father coughing again. But Reuven is relived to find that Mr. Savo's curtain has been opened. Mr. Savo tells Reuven that his wound is worse and that he must have an operation. He tries to downplay the seriousness of the matter; instead, he seems more concerned about the speedy recovery of Billy and Reuven.

On the following day, Friday, Reuven is taken to Dr. Syndman for a check up. When the doctor uncovers his eye and checks it, he announces that everything looks fine and that his vision is restored without a problem. Reuven is free to leave the hospital, but must return in ten days for another checkup. Mr. Malter arrives to take Reuven home. Before he departs, the boy goes to wish Mr. Savo goodbye. The kind man tells the boy he has become blind in one eye.

Notes

Reuven is surprised when his father advises him to become friends with Danny. He is even more surprised when he learns that Mr. Malter knows Danny and has been referring English books from the library for the boy to read. Danny is equally surprised to learn that his mentor is actually Reuven's father.

During the chapter, Reuven grows worried for both Mr. Savo and Billy when he sees the curtains around their beds drawn. He is also concerned about his own father's continuous cough. Reuven prays intensely for their health and welfare, further revealing his religious nature.

Danny has now become a regular visitor to Reuven. His lively and truthful conversations cause both Reuven and the reader to admire the spunky Danny, as he admits that he has questions about God and his religious sect. He also reveals that he is a voracious reader, checking out secular English books from the library. When Reuven learns that his own father has been referring books to Danny to read, he seems a little jealous of the relationship between Mr. Malter and his new friend. He is also miffed that his father has told him nothing about it. Reuven obviously feels a bit left out.

On a Friday, Reuven is taken to Dr. Syndman for an examination. When the bandage is taken off his eye, Reuven can see clearly, and the doctor announces that there is no permanent damage. Reuven can leave the hospital, returning in a week for a checkup.

Mr. Malter comes to drive his son home.

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