Saboteur Ha Jin Summary

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“Saboteur”, written by Ha Jin exposes a difficult period in post-revolutionary China and the negative consequences on people’s lives. Mr. Chiu, a scholar who does not view himself as a common citizen, was wrongfully arrested while on honeymoon with his bride. As an egotistical man who thinks he is above everyone else, Mr. Chiu is arrogant and never takes ownership for his actions. This machoism subjects Mr. Chui to maltreatment from the police that ironically transforms the once seemingly innocent Mr. Chiu to a man consumed by vengeance. Ha Jin’s proficient use of ironic tone and conflict told through the omniscient view of his main character reinforces the story’s main theme: life experiences shape our character and have the power to transform us into a person we despise. Jin uses verbal irony to describe the physical appearance of Chiu and his bride as being in a weak state of health, reflective of their weak positions in a communist nation. Chiu, the protagonist, suffers from acute hepatitis and heart disease, comparatively, his wife has pale cheeks and headaches. However, in contrast, the policemen are “stout,” “tall and of athletic build” possibly a human embodiment of the large…show more content…
This insight highlights Mr. Chiu’s egotistical confidence of going free and his gull to demand a “letter of apology” from the chief of the bureau. Moreover, Chiu’s self-absorbed thoughts are exposed when he realizes that his “bookworm” wife sent an amateur lawyer to rescue him. Reluctantly, he signs the confession, and Mr. Chui’s suppressed anger is revealed when he thinks to himself, “If he were able to, he would have razed the entire police station and eliminated all their families.” After ironically rescuing his lawyer Fenjin from a wrongful imprisonment and public torture, the two men travel “from restaurant to restaurant near the police
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