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This Book Is Regarding The Contrasts Between Reuven And His Environment In The Book The Chosen By Chaim Potok

690 words - 3 pages

Reuven's Environment ContrastReuven makes a transition of great magnitude in character and form of perspective. Reuven's first experience turned him to form opinions and ideas of Danny's Hasidic neighborhood, which brought him further away from his Jewish faith. His second visit pushes these accusations away, subsiding to a humble and respective view of the area. Reuven seems to notice the negative aspects of the visual imagery upon his first arrival; the "narrow street crowded with brownstones and sycamores . . . a good deal older and less neatly kept." At Reuven's first visit in the less promising times, he views the sycamores as "a solid, tangled bower that kept out the sunlight." This was to show the negative events such as Reb Saunder's discontent for Apikoros, his unorthodox treatment to his son, and the closing out of the outside world. Potok shows that Reuven's view has matured and come to ...view middle of the document...

The shadows cast by the sycamores creating dark ceilings, the blotched with dirt surfaces and worn pavement, the black uniformed people all created a unanimous tone which implied difference to Reuven. Reuven later views all of these things in a lighter, more relieved sense and instead sees "brushed streaks of gold across the sidewalks," and does not have to worry about defending himself from the Hasidic faith. The sibilance in the first paragraph exhibits harsh and rough feeling which provide the imagery to give us the uncomfortable experience that Reuven goes through. Some of the diction shows that his view is honed in on the negative as he visualizes "heavily pregnant" women, a street which "throbbed with the noise of playing children," and "furious games of tag." The auditory imagery of both passages create opposite feeling between the two and make both situations seem opposite because of it. The loud Yiddish talking, and the throbbing noise of playing children are not present as Reuven visits a second time. At this time only the soft whispering echoes of what was then conflict can be heard, as new times have approached. Reuven interprets what he views in his first visit with a very analytical tone, which contained sentences strewn out with descriptive bits of detail. Potok's effect in doing this was to appeal and emphasize the overwhelming effect it was giving Reuven; instead of using simpler sentences which have a smoother flow as he did in the second visit. Through Reuven's experiences with Danny and the many religious ordeals they face, they both mature and grow to understand one another and how they exist in such different yet similar ways. As both passages note to specific detail in the same areas within both passages it is explicitly apparent that they are supposed to be paralleled. This indicates the point that Reuven's views had changed throughout time and that it changed his perspective when he found himself in that same situation the second time around.

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