The Promise by Chaim Potok Essay

The Promise by Chaim Potok Essay

Length: 758 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Promise by Chaim Potok


1.In 10-12 sentences, write a brief outline of the plot of the novel. Be

sure to make clear the major conflict of the story.


1.In the beginning of the novel, the main character, Reuben, is spending

some time with his father at their cottage. His friend, Rachel is also

vacationing nearby. Reuben finds out that Rachel's 14 year old cousin,

Michael, is mentally ill, and Reuben seems to be the only person Michael

will talk to. Near the end of the summer, Reuben's best friend Danny comes

to visit Reuben and the Gordons (Rachel's family) invite Danny over to

discuss Michael because Danny is a genius, and he is studying psychology.

At the summer's end, Michael is put into the treatment centre at which

Danny is working. Reuben becomes friends with Michael's father, Abraham

Gordon, a very respected scholar. Unfortunately, his ideas are not approved

by Reuben's professor, Rav Kalman. Rav Kalman tells Reuben that if he

continues to see Abraham and Michael Gordon, he will not be given his

smicha, the degree which he has been working to get for so long. Also,

Michael does not respond well to the treatment centre, and bec omes

violent. Danny decides to use an experimental treatment on Michael, which

involves not letting him talk to anyone or interact with anything except

his therapist. The major conflict is when Michael becomes catatonic, and it

seems as if Reuben will not get his smicha and Michael will never be cured.

Danny decides to have a long conversation with Rav Kalman, and convinces

him to at least give Reuben the smicha examination. During the examination,

Reuben uses a method called test emendation, which is stric...

... middle of paper ...

...of the following categories below to describe how you would

rate the book. Making reference to the novel's subject matter, language,

character development and other elements, explain why you rated the book as

you did.


5.I would rate the book as very interesting. I would rate it in this way

becuase, first, I could indentify with the subject. I knew most of the

Hebrew or Yiddish terms before the author translated them, and although it

did not apply directly to me, I could see paralels between the novel and my

own life. The language in the novel was well choosen, at an in-between

level, not too hard to understand, but very well written. Some of the

metaphores used in the book were so brilliant, I would have rather done a

full novel study of this book, because I know I must have missed so much of

the depth of the novel.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Symbols and Symbolism of Chaim Potok's Promise

- "Promise" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar is filled with symbolism. The basic definition of the word "promise," the title of the poem, refers to something to be given, granted, or willingly kept for the future. Yet no promise is fulfilled. A study of the plot reveals there really was no promise or guarantee at all--only an assumption. The "gardener" in this poem symbolizes a lover who, only to satisfy his (or her) own selfish desires, nurtures and cares for another. The "rose" symbolizes a loved one, a loved one eventually lost because the lover tries to hold onto, earn, and force love....   [tags: Chaim Potok Promise Essays]

Better Essays
674 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Irony of Situations and Satire in Chaim Potok's Promise

- "Promise" is a poem about the time and love put into one rose. The rose then blossoms, and blooms, and grows more and more beautiful. But before the rose reaches its peak of beauty, it was picked. The conflict is that the rose wasn't seen at its most beautiful stage by the one who nurtured it. This rose can symbolize any one sacred thing to one's heart. The author of this poem, Paul Lawrence Dunbar uses irony of situations and satire in this particular poem. The red rose that was picked by the inconsiderate child portrays the feelings of parents losing their offspring before complete maturity....   [tags: Chaim Potok Promise Essays]

Free Essays
690 words (2 pages)

The American Dream in The Chosen by Chaim Potok Essay

- Baseball is a rugged sport, uniquely American. Two Jewish boys meet during one of the most hotly contested baseball games of the high school season, in New York City during World War II. The teams’ rivalry—one team are Hassidim, the other orthodox—fuels intense acrimony between them until a freak accident during the game sends one to the hospital with an injury that nearly costs him an eye. The near loss of the boy’s eye creates a bond between the boys which develops into a deep and lasting friendship....   [tags: The Chosen, Chaim Potok]

Better Essays
910 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Human Nature Exposed in Chaim Potok's The Chosen

- Human Nature Exposed in The Chosen A bad thing is only truly bad if you fail to make good of it. The Chosen by Chaim Potok is a testimant to the human ability to learn, grow and prosper from adversity. The story is filled with examples of situations in which something that may seem bad at the time, later reaps great rewards. In the initial portion of The Chosen one of the main characters, Reuven Malter, is struck in the eye by a baseball hit by the other main character, Danny Saunders....   [tags: Potok Chosen Essays]

Free Essays
449 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Role of the Fathers in Chaim Potok’s The Chosen

- Role of the Fathers in Chaim Potok’s The Chosen Chaim Potok’s The Chosen is the story of a lasting friendship that blossoms between two Jewish boys, Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter, during and after World War II. On a deeper level, much of the plot focuses on the character of their fathers–Reb Saunders and David Malter–whose beliefs and ideals are rooted in two separate worlds. Reb Saunders is a zealous Hasidic rabbi who wants to impart his knowledge of his religion upon Danny and expects his son to follow in his footsteps....   [tags: Potok Chosen Essays]

Better Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

The Chosen by Chaim Potok Essay

- "When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him." ---KARL A. MENNINGER By developing a relationship between two people who come from completely distinct worlds, Chaim Potok was able to instigate and investigate a profound and deeply moving story of true friendship and the importance of father-son interconnection through self-realization in the work of The Chosen by explicitly introducing...   [tags: Chosen Chaim Potok]

Free Essays
1368 words (3.9 pages)

Chaim Potok's The Chosen Essay

- Chaim Potok's The Chosen In the book The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, Reuven Malter is shaped by everyone around him. During this interaction his character becomes more developed and engaging. Through the interactions, it becomes apparent that Reuven’s father is always teaching his child how to improve himself. The conversations between Reuven and his father help prepare Reuven develop the mentality and the personal qualities, such as wisdom, compassion, and tolerance, necessary to become a rabbi. In all of their conversations, Mr....   [tags: Chaim Potok Chosen Essays]

Better Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Silence in Chaim Potok's The Chosen Essay examples

- Silence in The Chosen In the book The Chosen the four main characters have different views on how children should be raised. Danny Saunders was said to be raised in silence. Danny was raised in silence in that communication was cut off between Danny and his father, except when they were studying Talmud. The reason Danny’s father did not speak to his son is because Rabbi Saunders wanted to have Danny think things through himself. Reb Saunders also wanted Danny to grow up in the same manner he himself was raised....   [tags: Potok Chosen Essays]

Better Essays
629 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Chaim Potok's The Chosen

- Chaim Potok's The Chosen David Malter was part of the Jewish sect that took on a more modern approach. He is very understanding, and he cares very deeply for his son Reuven. Reuven and his father's relationship would be considered healthy by most people. They love each other very much, and they have a very open communication with each other. David Malter sought for every opportunity to teach his son from the Talmud, the Jewish Holy book. At the beginning of the book, Reuven was in the hospital as a result of Danny Saunders intentionally hitting a fast line-drive that hit Reuven in the face....   [tags: Analysis Chosen Potok]

Free Essays
1590 words (4.5 pages)

The Power of Chaim Potok’s The Chosen Essay

- The Power of The Chosen Throughout the book, 'The Chosen', Chaim Potok used the way of the Jewish lifestyle to teach his readers of the Jewish people. Potok used a variety of techniques including diction where he introduced Jewish terms, the theme of silence, and conflict between father and son to make the novel appealing. Furthermore, this novel tells us of the life of Jews and their commitment to religion; "We are commanded to study His Torah. We are commanded to sit in the light of the Presence....   [tags: Potok Chosen Essays]

Free Essays
667 words (1.9 pages)