The Characters In Haim Potok's The Chosen

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The character of Danny presents many questions in Haim Potok's The Chosen. Where did he get his smarts? Why does he want to escape the town in which he grew up? Why cannot he stop himself from yearning to learn? These questions all have the same answer: Danny's intelligence and interested personality. Two traits take over everything he does. He wants to escape because he feels trapped, this community limits his freethinking; and, he wants to learn but feels hindered by his father and the Jewish neighborhood. Throughout the book, Danny shows his studious, inquisitive, and restless qualities, which the readers see, captivate all other areas of his life. First, Danny shows his smartness. Having a photographic memory, Danny surpasses all levels of intelligence his father expects of him; and, he understands the most complicated of formulas and concepts. For example, in chapter 10 Reuven describes their summer routine, "Danny spent his mornings studying Talmund, either alone or with his father, while I spent Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings playing ball with my yeshiva friends…"(175). This…show more content…
With the future of inheriting the role of Tsaddik, Danny discontentedly struggles with his present life and the prospect of his future. He talks to Reuven about it, and mentions how his younger brother could make a fine spiritual leader for the Jews. If Danny does not escape, one day he too would be stuck in this little community. For instance, at the end of chapter 12 he says, "I don't ever want to be trapped the way he's trapped. I want to be able to breathe, to think what I want to think, and say what I want to say" (202). He feels doomed to his life, and anxiously awaits the day he will break free from it all. Discontented Danny feels haunted by his inevitable condemnation. The desire to escape overwhelms him and becomes the only thing he can think about, it encapsulates him. To end, Danny feels

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