The Chosen

why is david malter uncomfortable with guiding dannys reading?

chapter 8

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Potok also gives greater perspective on the mindset of Danny Saunders in this chapter through his reaction to the Graetz text. While both David and Reuven Malter approach the text from a more sociopolitical frame of reference, Danny perceives the text from a psychological viewpoint. This is particularly important to establish his dedication to psychology and psychoanalysis. This is bolstered by Danny's study of Freud; that he is learning German in order to study Freud proves his great fascination for the subject.

However, an interest in psychology places Danny directly in conflict with his father's values. The psychological mindset is far too modern and contradicts the religious perspective favored by Reb Saunders. Sigmund Freud thus, in this novel, symbolizes highly modern and highly secular values akin to those atheistic attitudes espoused by Darwin.