The Importance Of Historical Events In The Chosen

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Written by Chaim Potok, The Chosen takes place during a significant moment in world history. The Chosen begins at the end of World War II in Williamsburg, which was heavily populated by Jews in 1940s. Throughout the book, The Chosen further includes various historical events in 1940s related to political situations in the world at that time. Those events are not mere backdrops but contribute significantly to the plot and content. Among them, there are five significant historical events that influence on the Malter’s and Saunders’ families. It includes D-Day, the death of President Roosevelt, end of World War II, revelation of the Holocaust in Europe, and struggle for the state of Israel creation. Each of those historical occurrences shows its…show more content…
Roosevelt’s death is followed by Reuven’s fever, and David Malter’s and Reb Saunders’s illnesses (Potok 189). They are both ill on the day in May when the war in Europe was over. Furthermore, the reports of the German concentration camps shock the Jewish community. Reuven is devastated by the stories of destruction, and David Malter and Reb Saunders weep for the loss of millions of European Jews. Hence, the revelation of the Holocaust in Europe is followed by David Malter’s heart attack. Although the historical tragedies do not directly cause the characters’ illnesses, its consequences imply that World War II is not merely a setting for the novel, but an essential influence on its characters’ lives. In addition, although both David and Reb are pained by the mass slaughter of the Jewish people, their political responses are profoundly different. Hence, the revelation of the Holocaust and end of World War II emphasizes their conflicts based on opposing beliefs on Judaism. Reb Saunders accepts the Holocaust as God’s will and, thinks that Jews should wait for the Messiah to come to lead them to the Promised Land according to a conservative interpretation of Jewish tradition. On the other hand, David Malter argues that Jews cannot wait for God any longer, and they must found a Jewish state in

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