Ha Jin

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Who’s to Blame?
Revenge puts off an aroma of evil to the outside world when a person seeks to pay someone back for the wrong committed against them. There seems to be no laws against declaring revenge against a neighbor in our country, but society should know that revenge lends no reconciliation to either party. Also, who truly decides the guilty party when both have committed a wrong towards each other? Mr. Chiu, a character in Ha Jin’s story “The Saboteur,” makes the transition from vacationer and victim of saboteur, to the very essence and definition of saboteur; Jin’s use of role-reversal in this story conveys the concept of revenge clearly and effectively.

“Mr. Chiu and his bride were having lunch in the square before Muji Train Station” (Jin 179). The young couple had taken a trip to Muji on their honeymoon and were about to head home on the train. “[Mr. Chiu] was glad that the honeymoon was finally over and that he and his bride were heading back for Harbin” (Jin 179). He also stated his joy for avoiding and conquering a long battle with hepatitis during the trip. Mr. Chiu begins to ask his wife if she felt alright when, “…the stout policeman at the next table stood up and threw a bowl of tea in their direction. Both Mr. Chiu’s and his bride’s sandals were wet instantly” (Jin 179). As the man began to defend his wife and his pride, the police officers began to arrest him; Mr. Chiu yelled at the officers but “the young fellow added, ‘you’re a saboteur, you know that?’…and together the two men were dragging him away to the police station” (Jin 180).

“The single window in the room was blocked by six steel bars…he was too exhausted…so he lay down on the narrow bed and shut his eyes” (Jin 180). Mr. Chiu is taken to the head chief of the station to be interrogated later in the day; as the men began to argue about the true saboteur of the city, Mr. Chiu’s anger rose. The station had witness testimonies against him and proof he was in the Communist party-...
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