Chaim Potok the chosen    Discuss the role of female characters in The Chosen. What accounts for their discernible lack of influence in the book? Was this deliberate on Potok's part? Use...

Chaim Potok the chosen

 

 

Discuss the role of female characters in

The Chosen. What accounts for their discernible lack of influence in the book? Was this deliberate on Potok's part? Use evidence from the novel to support your view of this question.

Asked on by mariahd1

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Although the outside of an insular Chassidic community is certainly patriarchal, and most of the affairs of the community would be handled by the men, woman play an important role behind the scenes. Inside Jewish communities, women are every bit as influential as men, just not as obvious about it, and many of the men don't hold jobs or do any significant work other than the study of Jewish law and scripture. Remember that for Chassidic Jews, study is everything; all the minutia of actually running a household and paying bills and so forth is delegated to the women. This isn't true in all cases, but it is very common.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with #2. Let us remember that the Jewish society being depicted and explored in this brilliant novel is profoundly patriarchal. The way in which the story focuses on two male characters only serves to reinforce this. Men were seen to be the heirs of the family, as is shown in the character of Danny and the way that this dubious inheritance passes down to his younger brother when he manages to escape from the role that was being made for him by his father.

vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

One factor that may be relevant to this question is that the society presented in the novel is heavily patriarchal.  This is especially true of the traditional community described. In such a community, during the period in which the novel is set, females would have had relatively little power, especially in dealing with the kinds of religious and political matters that are central to the book.

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