Potok opens The Chosen by describing the setting and cultural background in which the novel takes pl

Potok opens The Chosen by describing the setting and cultural background in which the novel takes pl

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Potok opens  The Chosen  by describing the setting and cultural background in which the novel takes  place — an area in New York City called Williamsburg, which is heavily populated by Jews. Ironically,  the streets of Williamsburg are not paved with gold, as alluded to in the mythical image of America;  rather, they're paved with asphalt riddled with potholes. Even the sidewalks are "cracked squares of  cement." This description reveals something about the social realities of many immigrant Jews, who  came to America seeking economic opportunity but often struggled to make ends meet in their new  country. Culturally, the Jews are divided between ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jews and Modern Orthodox Jews.  For example, although all male Orthodox children attend yeshivas, some yeshivas (including Reuven  Malter's) teach more English subjects than other yeshivas do (including Danny Saunders'). 
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