There are many ideas and opinions on the nature of friendship, but there are characteristics that texts and films have in common that contribute to the overall nature of friendship. From these texts it is noted that friendship is determined and shaped through our culture, beliefs, societies and our experiences. This can be seen through many texts and films, more specifically in The Chosen, “David and Jonathan”, The Quarrel, and “On Friendship”.In The Chosen the friendship between Danny and Reuven was hard to form because of their two different backgrounds and beliefs but they managed to overcome this and form a strong connection with one another.
The fact that Danny grew up in a Hasidic Jewish society made it harder for him to be friends with Reuven because Reuven was not a Hasidic jew, and therefore they both had conflicting opinions and beliefs which shaped their friendship. Their experience of playing against each other in baseball really kick started their whole relationship, because before the game Reuven hadn’t known who Danny was. “Pardon my ignorance, but who is Danny Saunders?” (Potok 23). If Danny and Reuven would have never had the experience of playing each other in baseball, and Danny hurting Reuven’s eye, it is possible that they would have never made a connection with one another and never turned that connection into a fortified friendship.
However this friendship like many others was not an easy one. At first there was resentment and hate between the two and often their beliefs and societal views caused conflict. “We just don’t talk, Reuven. Maybe it sounds a little crazy to you but it’s true.
” “I think you should at least try.””I can’t” he said, a little angry now. “Don’t you listen to what I’m saying? I just can’t!””I don’t understand it,” I told him.
“Well, I can’t explain it to you any better than I have,” he said angrily.(Potok 246)Because Reuven believed that Danny should try and talk to his father after Danny had already explained to Reuven that it wasn’t something that him and his father did, because his father did not believe in communicating with his son outside of talking about the Talmud, they had an argument about the situation. Even though this may seem minor it just goes to show that because Danny and Reuven were raised in different ways and they share different beliefs contributes to the idea that friendship can be shaped through beliefs because their argument shaped their friendship and made it stronger. Also, Danny and Reuven’s parents contributed to their problems with in their friendship, because Mr. Malter and Reb Saunders share different political beliefs this carried over to Danny and Reuven’s friendship because they were forced to not be friends anymore because Reb Saunders didn’t agree with Mr.
Malter and Danny and Reuven’s friendship suffered because of it. “Danny was not to see me, talk to me, listen to me, be found within four feet of me. My father and I had been excommunicated from the Saunders family.” (Potok 331). Because Reb Saunders did not agree with what Mr. Malter’s beliefs were he decided to not let Danny and Reuven continue being friends with furthers that friendship is shaped by beliefs.
One of the main beliefs in Judaism is how you need to choose and friend and because both the Malters and the Saunders are jewish they believe in this and this further impacts the friendship between Danny and Reuven because of their beliefs. “Reuven, if you can, make Danny Saunders your friend.” (Potok 110). Because of their religion and beliefs, Danny and Reuven’s friendship became a possibility and it helped shape them and people individually and as friends. Another text that offers ideas on the nature of friendship is “David and Jonathan”. The friendship between David and Jonathan gives insight to many characteristics on the nature of friendship. The way Jonathan believes in wanting what is best for David contributes to their overall friendship. “Jonathan loved David.
Instead of killing him, Jonathan did everything he could to help David and keep him safe.” (Vos 473). By Jonathan going against what his father wants and believing in what is best for David this further explains how when in a friendship believing in something as Jonathan believed in wanting the best for David, can help shape friendship. If Jonathan were to follow his father’s orders and try to kill David there would be no friendship whatsoever, but by Jonathan staying committed to their friendship and believing in what is right this further shapes their friendship into something stronger. Also, when Jonathan’s father realizes that Jonathan is not on his side, wants to kill Jonathan, the experience of King Saul wanting both Jonathan and David dead brings them closer together and unites them with a common experience. In the film The Quarrel there are many events that take place and contribute to the nature of friendship. First off, after the Holocaust, when Hersh and Chaim are reunited they begin to discuss things that were left unresolved before the tragic experience of the Holocaust. As they are talking they soon realize that they have different views on God after the Holocaust.
Hersh remains faithful to God, but Chaim is left with resentment and hatred towards God. “God chose us.” Hersh tells Chaim but Chaim retorts with, “To be hanged.” From this it is evident that Hersh does not blame God or is not angry with God, but Chaim is angry with God and feels betrayed by God. This disagreement on how they believe in God causes a rift between them and their friendship, but they are soon able to resolve their problems and patch up their friendship. In addition to that, their experiences at the Yeshiva before the Holocaust shaped their friendship. Chaim started to break away from tradition and wanted to become a writer and started to read books that were frowned upon by the community.
This experience shaped Chaim and Hersh’s friendship because Chaim needed support from Hersh in his decision, but Hersh was hurt by Chaim so he decided to not support Chaim. “This is when I needed a friend, not another angry voice.” Chaim tells this to Hersh as they are walking and Chaim is evidently upset that Hersh did not chose to support him as his friend. In addition, “On Friendship” contributes to the cultural and societal aspects of friendship, in that it describes the different views on friendship across the world. This shows how based on where you live can determine how you view friendship. “For the French, friendship is a one-to-one relationship that demands a keen awareness of the other person’s intellect, temperament and particular interests.
A friend is someone who draws out your own best qualities, with whom you sparkle and become more of whatever the friendship draws upon.”(Mead and Metraux 9). This is just how the French view friendship, Mead and Metraux go on to explain what the German view of friendship is. “In Germany, in contrast with France, friendship is much more articulately a matter of feeling.
Adolescents, boys and girls, form deeply sentimental attachments, walk and talk together–not so much to polish their wits as to share their hopes and fears and dreams,” (Mead and Metraux 13). From this it is clear that friendship can be influenced by culture and society, as Mead and Metraux explain. Germany and France are two very different places and how they view friendship is influenced by their culture. Lastly, there are many ways to classify friendship and friendship to many different people means many different things. Although the friendship itself may be difficult to navigate at certain times in one’s life, friendship is worth it in the long run and produces many positive effects. From many texts it is clear that the nature of friendship is that friendship is determined and influenced through our culture, society, beliefs and experiences.