55 pages 1 hour read

Chaim Potok

The Chosen

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1967

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Important Quotes

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“Reb Saunders ordered them never to lose because it would shame their yeshiva or something. I don’t know. You’ll see.”

(Book 1, Chapter 1, Page 15)

Davey Cantor contributes to the negative portrayal of Reb Saunders through his diction. Words like “ordered” and “shame” make Danny’s dad out to be a severe and oppressive person. His supposed emphasis on the baseball game furthers the claim that the game is a symbol of war between the good Jews and the not-so-good Jews.

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“They’re murderers.”

(Book 1, Chapter 1, Page 22)

Davey’s diction continues to support the notion that the baseball game symbolizes war: It’s violent—Danny’s team wants to murder them. The quote also foreshadows Reuven’s injury and the real deaths in World War II and the Holocaust. Less drastically, the quote alludes to baseball history and the 1927 New York Yankees, who had a powerful lineup—featuring stars Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig—nicknamed “Murderers’ Row.”

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“Always like kids that hold to their religion. Important thing, religion. Wouldn’t mind some of it in the ring. Tough place, the ring. Tony Savo’s my name.”

(Book 1, Chapter 2, Page 63)

Tony Savo is one of the few non-Jewish characters in the story, but even the rambling boxer affirms the importance of the religion. The quote foreshadows Danny’s struggles with holding onto Hasidism.