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I chose to go to Sutter Middle School in 6th grade even though I only had one friend going, Kaley Poon, my best friend. A week or so passed and then we meet Zoe Maggio. We had an instantaneous spark as if we were destined to meet each other. Together we formed the ultimate trifecta. Even though I chose to go to Sutter, I suspect it was predetermined so that I would meet Zoe. It was just a matter of where, middle school or high school. Similarly, in Chaim Potok’s novel The Chosen, the two main characters, Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter, meet under normal circumstances that eventually turn bad. It seems unlikely that the two of them will become friends, but fate works to bring the two together in friendship. The novels The Chosen and Brave New World, along with the Bible and my own personal experiences, all support the theory that we have no free will.
Chaim Potok uses Danny’ s relationships with Reuven and his father, Reb, to demonstrate that everything is predetermined. All his life he had been conditioned by his father to become a tzaddik. However, Danny redirected himself as he got older and began studying psychology instead. Although it sounds like Danny had the choice to choose what he becomes, it was never his fate in the first place to become a tzaddik. According to Reb, he said “I have known for a long time, ” that Danny was not meant to be a tzaddik because “the Master of the Universe blessed me with a brilliant son”. Because Potok writes that “the Master of the Universe” made Danny brilliant shows how Danny’s desire to not follow in his father’s footsteps was predetermined for him. In regards to his relationship with Reuven, it could be said that their friendship was chosen for them as well. The first time they meet was at their softball game, where Reuven pitched the ball to Danny and he hit it directly at Reuven’s eye. This caused him to have to go to an eye ward where he begins to dislike Danny more and more. The first time Danny came to visit Reuven in the hospital Reuven was unhappy about it and told him to “go to hell”. When he told his dad what he said, his father became angry and told him that he needed to forgive him and “make him your his friend”. The second time Danny came back to visit, Reuven was “surprised at how happy he was to see him”. Because Danny was happy to see Reuven again after his father told him to make him his friend, demonstrated that their friendship was chosen for them by David Malter.
In addition to The Chosen, the theory of no free will can be seen in the Bible. The story of Oedipus states that when he was a baby his father left him in the woods to die because he heard of a prophecy that said Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother. However, he was picked up from the woods and raised by another family. Not knowing he was adopted, when he heard of his prophecy he left his adoptive parents to prevent the prophecy from coming true. As he was fleeing from his fate, he killed a stranger and married his widowed wife. That stranger turned out to be his biological father, justifying that there is no escaping fate. Along with the Bible, pre-determinism also plays a big role in the society used in Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World. In the utopian city, the development of humans is controlled by the World State, and the majority of the population is unaware of it. Each person is raised in a hatchery, where the government controls every stage of their development. In the Social Predestination Room, their DNA is controlled chemically to stimulate or to retard their physical and mental growth to create a biological class structure. The controllers use hypnopedia, sleep teaching, to brainwash people into accepting the values and tenets of the “Brave New World”. Every factor of a person’s development and being is predetermined by the workers of the World State. Ultimately, everything is predestined for a person whether it be chosen by fate or other people.
In conclusion, The Chosen, Brave New World, the Bible, and my Grandma all prove the theory of no free will. A typical person may think they are choosing to act in ways that follow the identity they have shaped for themselves. Yet, those “choices” are still the result of an abundance of predetermined factors about them and their place in the world. For instance, a group of people can all enter a corn maze and start off in all different direction. While they are walking each of them will make different choices, whether they choose to go left, right, or straight, in the end, everyone will go out the same designated exit.
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