Women do not have a central role in The Chosen. The story is set in the 1940s. Both Reuven and Danny are members of Orthodox Jewish sects, and though Reuven's is less conservative than Danny's Hasidic branch, neither one includes women in the religious activities forming the center of their lives.
This isn't to say that women have no role in Chaim Potok's story. There is something extremely poignant in the way Manya, the Malters's housekeeper, greets Reuven upon his return from the hospital. And the nurse at the hospital had been kind and solicitous, calling him "young man" and making him feel comfortable. So women can be seen as positive symbols in The Chosen, even if they don't have leading roles. The story is basically an interplay among men, two fathers and two sons, about religion, history, and the meaning and purpose of life.
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