Chaim Potok The Free Fish Quotes

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The Free Fish and the Hooked Fish In the very first few pages, a quote by psychologist Karl Menninger describing the behavior of a hooked fish and a free fish is put in place for the reader to read. In the novel, The Chosen by Chaim Potok, the two protagonists Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders are their respective fishes. After Menninger's quote, the reader can interpret this quote to assume that Reuven is the free fish, growing up to follow his dreams and pursue the education he wants. On the other hand, Danny is the fish struggling between his aspirations and what his father expects of him and through the help of the free fish, the fish stuck is once able to swim freely again. To begin, the reader can assume that Danny is the hooked fish as…show more content…
Reuven, unlike Danny, is able to choose his own occupation. While Reuven and Danny talk about their future and what job they wish to pursue, Reuven states, “‘I may become a rabbi. Not a Hasidic—type though”’ (282). From this quote, Reuven tells the reader his aspirations are and how he is able to decide for himself without anyone forcing him to do anything. Furthermore, Reuven is able to read any novel he wants either for the entertainment of it or for educational purposes. While Danny and Reuven are at the library, Reuven says, “‘The first sections of the book were a little too easy for me, but the final chapter on logistics, in which she showed how Principia Mathematica provides a basis from which two concepts, operations, and relations of arithmetic and other branches of mathematics may be derived, I found to be very exciting”’ (178). Although he strives to become a rabbi, Reuven learns more about arithmetic showing how Reuven has the freedom to read and study without any repercussions. All in all, Reuven is the free fish, learning and pursuing his…show more content…
Reuven’s father, Mr. Malter, recommends novels to Danny that Mr. Saunders would forbid in order to give Danny the choice any child his age should have, the ability to make his own career choices. When Danny and Mr. Malter meet each other at the hospital, Reuven realizes, “I suddenly realized it was my father who all along had been suggesting books for Danny to read. My father was the man Danny had been meeting in the library!” (85). Here, Reuven is finally able to see how much Danny is in trouble and Reuven becomes best friends with Danny in order to convince Mr. Saunder’s mind to allow Danny to become a psychologist. Through the help of Reuven and his father, Danny is able to at large be free and seek the necessary knowledge in order to become a psychologist. As Danny and Reuven go to the Saunders dwelling to talk to Mr. Saunders, Danny’s father exclaims, “‘You will go one way Reuven. And my son Daniel, he will—he will go another way’…He had not even looked at him. He was talking to Danny though me” (282). Here, the reader can see how paramount Reuven in the relationship between Danny and his father, and as a result of Reuven, Danny is able to grow up knowing the true meaning of silence from his father and although his father is subsequently acquiesce to allowing Danny to become a psychologist. In conclusion, the free fish is able to help the hooked fish break free from the hook

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