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Free Study Guide-The Chosen by Chaim Potok-Free Online Booknotes
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In college, Danny is placed in Rev. Gershenson's class, the highest class for the study of the Talmud; he finds it difficult. He also discovers that his psychology professor, Nathan Appleman, intensely dislikes Freud and psychoanalysis; instead, he believes in experimental psychology, using rats and mazes. Danny hates the experiments. In contrast, Reuven enjoys all of his classes, which are systemically divided between normal college subjects and the study of the Talmud. He likes the religious classes best, for he is still determined to become a rabbi.

Reuven urges Danny to have a serious discussion with Professor Appleman about Freud, but Danny is hesitant and dubious about the results. When Reuven sees his father and tells him about Danny's frustrations concerning Freud, Mr. Malter comments that finally Danny had discovered that Freud is not God. Reuven also begs his father to care for his health, but he answers that he cannot worry about himself with all that is happening in Palestine. Jewish terrorist groups are creating havoc by kidnapping eminent people, blowing up trains, and attacking police stations. The actions have spurred Mr. Malter into further Zionist activities. When he speaks about the possibility of his own death, which could take place any day, Reuven is stunned and unable to digest it.

Danny finally meets Professor Appleman. It turns out that he knows Freud's theories perfectly. He really does not object to Freud's conclusions, only his methodology. He claims that Freud too often generalized on the basis of his own limited experiences and patients. Appleman advises Danny to study his math, which will help him in his psychological experiments. When Danny tells Reuven about the advice, he offers to help his friend with math.

Reuven hardly sees his father, who is extremely busy with his Zionist activities. He is intent on educating the American Jewry about the formation of a Jewish state in Palestine. When Reuven does meet with his father, he thinks that he looks terribly haggard, due to his lack of rest.

Zionism is also found on the college campus. Since some students are quite vocal about their support of Zionist ideology, there are often heated arguments and discussions. Danny does not publicly support either side of the issue, but he covertly wishes to join the Zionist group. He is, however, too fearful of his father's wrath to take any such step.

By February, the Foreign Minister promises to bring the Palestine issue to the United Nations. Reuven's father prepares a speech for the rally, which is a huge success in spite of a heavy snowfall. After the rally, Reuven learns that Danny's father has forbidden his son to have any further connection with Reuven, which deeply upsets him. Mr. Malter tries to explain that as long as his Zionism was private, the rabbi did not object to the friendship of Danny and Reuven. Now that Mr. Malter has publicly announced his support of Zionism, the rabbi feels that all ties with Zionist father and son must be broken. Although he listens to his father, Reuven refuses to be consoled and calls Reb Saunders a fanatic.


At college, Reuven is pleased with all of his classes and sure of what he wants to become in life. In contrast, Danny struggles with both his class on the Talmud and his psychology class, which he feels has too many experiments. When he finally meets with Appleman, his psychology professor, he finds that he has been revering Freud too highly; he is also made aware that psychology entails a great deal of dull theoretical studies and mathematical applications.

Much of this chapter is devoted to the Zionist movement, especially in relation to Mr. Malter, Reuven's father. He is so outraged at what has happened to the Jews at the hands of the Nazis that he devotes his whole life to the cause of Zionism. He is determined to educate the American Jewry about the value of a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land. In fact, he is so devoted to the cause that he does not take care of himself and suffers from a complete lack of rest. When he tells Reuven that he may be killed for his involvement, the boy is shocked. He cannot imagine losing his father, his only family member. Mr. Malter, however, has tried to make certain that his son is strong enough to withstand any trauma.

The Zionism issue spills on to the college campus, where there are many heated arguments between those who support and those who oppose the Zionist ideology. Although Danny does not publicly support either side, he would like to join the Zionist cause, but he is too afraid of his father's wrath. The Zionism issue also drives a wedge into the friendship between Reuven and Danny. After Mr. Malter gives a public speech about his support of Zionist ideology, Reb Saunders demands that Danny cease his friendship with Reuven. Reuven is very upset by the decision and calls the rabbi a fanatic.

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