Conflict and Other Themes in The Chosen
In The Chosen, the setting of each scene contributes to our understanding of the book’s central themes. The baseball field reveals the theme of conflict between two opposing forces, the hospital brings about different perceptions of the world, the library represents the characters’ expanding minds, and so on. The combination of settings and the sub-themes that develop within them help develop the book’s central theme – conflict between the secular and theological.
The central theme of The Chosen is apparent from the beginning and takes place on a baseball field, inherently a place of competition that, if taken too far, can turn into outright conflict. A simple baseball game becomes a virtual holy war. Reuven’s team, secular Americanized Jews, and Danny’s team, extremely religious Hasidic Jews, compete in a brutal game of ball. The major underlying theme of The Chosen, conflict between two opposing forces and their different approach towards Judaism, secular and theological, reveals itself in this scene. At first Reuven notices nothing in particular about Danny’s team other than that they wear the proper yeshiva regalia: “There were fifteen of them, and they were dressed alike...in the fashion of the very Orthodox, their hair was...
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