Books and Movies Reviews

The Chosen v The Assistant

Themes are literary tools used by authors to enhance their writings.When a similar theme exists in two different novels, parallels can often be drawn between the characters and structures of literary work.Such is the case for Bernard Malamud's The Assistant and Chaim Potok's The Chosen.Religion plays a major role in the shaping of both novels.Both books begin with the respective religious outcast (Frank and Rueven) befriending the respective character (Morris and Danny) as a result of an act of malice.The characters Ida and Reb Saunders from The Assistant and The Chosen respectively have similar reactions to their child's involvement with this outcast.Thus, a definite parallel is evident between the general flow of both novels as a result of the religion theme.
The Assistant, set in Brooklyn during the 1940's, opens with a robbery.Frank Alpine, a non-Jew who constantly found himself doing the wrong thing, was one of the men involved in the crime.Frank and his partner Ward robbed the grocery store of Morris Bober.Morris, a poor Jewish family man, had a mere $15 to offer them from his cash register.Ward reacted violently to this news by striking Morris on his head.Frank felt responsible for Morris' suffering and was overcome with guilt.To exonerate his conscience, he befriended Morris and started to work for him at the store.
In comparison to The Assistant, The Chosen also began during the 1940's in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.The opening scene is set at a softball game between two Jewish parochial schools.Hatred and determination were embedded in the minds of every player on that field.This was more than just a softball game between two schools.It was the Hasidics versus the traditional Jews.No one was backing down.Rueven Malter pitched the ball to Hasidic Danny Saunders.Danny's bat connected with the ball and smacked Rueven in t

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