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 strictly forbidden by
his school. Reuben backs up his arguments so well, that Rav Kalman does
give him smicha, and when Reuben tells this to Michael (although Michael is
in a comatose state) Michael awakes and tells Reuben, Danny and his parents
that he hates his father because when his father writes a book, all the
people who disagree with his ideas write hateful articles, and
excommunicate the Gordon family.
2.What is the setting of the novel?
2.The novel is set in Willamsburg, Brooklyn, in the 1950's.
3.In one sentence, state the climax of the novel. Explain how it solves...