5 November 2012
Comparison Between Fathers of The Chosen and Abraham of Genesis The characters and the stories of the Bible have influenced Western literature more than any other work, many becoming easily identifiable archetypes. In the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament, Abraham, father of Isaac, values the word of God above anything else, willing to suffer any consequence. His religious beliefs reign above all aspect of life, including the lives of his own children. In The Chosen, Chiam Potok presents the fathers of the novel as two modern religious men. Reb Saunders follows the Jewish Hasidic tradition impeccably, retaining the old, ultra-conservative traditional ways, whereas David Malter adapts his methods to the current era. The similarities between the biblical figure Abraham and Reb Saunders and David Malter of The Chosen are important for the archetype provides further understanding of the characters of Reb Saunders and David Malter. The men’s methods of proving their devotion vary based on their interpretations of God’s will, affecting many aspects of their lives, Abraham and Reb Saunders both are required to make sacrifices regarding their sons; however, the two men differ in their execution; Abraham and David Malter both love and bring up their sons but interpret God’s word differently. Abraham remains unreservedly devoted to God throughout his life, obeying every command God provides and in return, “[God is] a shield to [him]… [and makes] of [him] a great nation” (Genesis qtd in Ackerman 71). God favors him and choses him at birth to become a leader. Often “the Lord came to Abram in a vision” (Genesis qtd in Ackerman 71) expressing his will. Abraham completes these tasks, such as leading his people to “go forth from [his] native land… to the land that [God shows him]” (Genesis qtd in Ackerman 71). Thus, when God asks of Abraham to “take [his] son, [his] favored one, Isaac, whom [he loves] … and offer him … as a...
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