The short story "Saboteur", written by Ha Jin exposes a social problem of China: the consequence of Culture Revolution on people’s life. How the faithful educated scholar becomes a merciless assassin. Who is the real Saboteur, Mr. Chiu or policeman? Through the author’s skillful description, we are able to understand the theme of the story is revenge. And “Saboteur” is irony.
The setting of a story has a ponderous influence on our perception as it often justifies a character's behavior. The story takes place in Muji city, China. This place maybe is a beautiful place, because Mr. Chiu and his bride select this place for spending their honeymoon. Time seems around 1980s, "the Cultural Revolution was over already and recently the party had been propagating the idea that all citizens are equal before the law."(P635). The concrete statue of Chairman Mao is located in the middle of a square before Muji train station. Experienced the Culture Revolution, people’s opinion of morality has a great changed. Mr. Chiu eager to get justice, but he suffered unjustified treatment. Let we see how Mr. Chiu’s character changed. Finally he became a “saboteur”.
During and after the Cultural Revolution, the relationship between the government and the intellectuals was not among the most pleasant. Mr. Chiu, a professor of Harbin University, is worried about his bad liver and acute hepatitis. His wife whose cheeks are pale wears “glassed” (P634), which could be perceived as a sign of fragility. They live a comfortable life as indicated by the fact that they own a color TV. The couple obviously belongs to the intellectual, and it helps understanding the policemen's behavior towards them.
It is easy to understand that an uneducated people is easier to rule than a well-informed one. After his unfair arrest, Mr. Chiu seems hope that he will be treated with justice. "He wasn't afraid. The cultural revolution was over already, and recently the party had been propagating the idea... [continues]
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