Chapter 2 Notes from The Chosen

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The Chosen Chapter 2

Mr. Galanter rushes Reuven to Brooklyn Memorial Hospital for immediate care on his injured eye. The doctors tease him by telling him that stopping a baseball with his eye is no way to play the game. Reuven winces in pain and sees bright lights as the doctors and orderlies move him around the hospital and up the stairs, repeatedly asking for his father. Mr. Galanter tells them that although he is not well, Mr. David Malter is on his way.

Reuven awakens later in the afternoon in shock that so much has happened in the day. Although his vision is blurred, he can see a middle aged man with an eye patch to one side of his bed playing cards, while a young blind boy of ten or eleven lay to his other side. He thought of the events of the day and one reflection continuously came to mind:

"I moved my wrist slowly. It still hurt. That Danny Saunders was a smart one, and I hated him. I wondered what he was thinking now. Probably gloating and bragging about the ball game to his friends. That miserable Hasid!" Chapter 2, p. 46

After another long sleep, Reuven wakes up on Monday afternoon and begins to speak with the two men surrounding him. He eats a kosher meal, placing the skullcap on his head brought by his father earlier. The older man on his left starts a conversation about the skullcap and introduces himself as Tony Savo, a fighter, while the young blonde boy named Billy, also enters the conversation. After Tony has difficulty pronouncing Reuven's name, he introduces himself as Robert - Bobby - an Americanized description of his more religious name.

Reuven sees a blurry image with wire-rimmed glasses come rushing to his bed. It is his father and he is ecstatic to see him, although he is disturbed that his father looks so unkempt and is suffering from a summer cold. The two discuss Reuven's and the surgery which he underwent to remove a small piece of glass that was trapped in his eye. Mr. Malter's obvious concerns show and Reuven immediately picks up on the tone. There is a slight possibility that the scar tissue could grow over the pupil, causing blindness. Regardless, Reuven will be released in a few days while he allows the eye to heal. During this period, he is not allowed to read for two weeks. Therefore, his political activist father brings him a radio so that he can listen to all the current events. The Second World War in Europe is beginning to cause much commotion and chaos in the United States - especially with the Jewish communities.

Topic Tracking: Intelligentsia 3

"I lay still and thought about my eyes. I had always taken them for granted, the way I took for granted all the rest of my body and also my mind. My father had told me many times that health was a gift, but I never really paid much attention to the fact that I was rarely sick or almost never had to go to a doctor." Chapter 1, p.57

Reb Saunders has called Mr. Malter several times to offer Danny's sincere apologies. Reuven is shocked to hear such news, for he believes Danny to be intentionally cruel. He leaves Reuven to his radio and sleeping pills, as he ponders a life without sight.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 1

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