Literature Analysis of Saboteur – Mr. Chiu

Mr. Chiu unintentionally became the saboteur that he was accused of and there’s no indication that he regrets his choices. Although Mr. Chiu lives in a communist society where the Cultural Revolution was redefining the way of life for many Chinese people, there are still some fundamental principles of law and order that have not and will not change. His pride can be confused with arrogance and in this story his pride was definitely a character flaw. However, the complex human experience of Mr. Chiu does not excuse the fact that he contributed to the outbreak of Hepatitis in that region of Muji City.

What he did was wrong but the resulting outbreak of Hepatitis has many layers and the blame cannot solely be put on Mr. Chiu. He can most certainly be labeled a saboteur after this ordeal, but for the younger officer to label him that at the train station is debatable. Mr. Chiu is a young, confident lecturer at Harbin University who just got married and is returning home from his honeymoon. When a tea cup came flying in his direction, Mr. Chiu assumes it was being thrown at him or his wife. As an educated, young professional Mr. Chiu has the nerve to confront the local authority figures who he thought had slighted him and his wife.

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He uses his education and language to portray the officers as the villains and wrong-doers in front of a crowd of people. When he is arrested and brought before the Chief of the Investigation Bureau, he continues the tirade he was not allowed to finish on the street. He also interrupts the one person who had real control over his freedom and proceeds to use his education as a verbal weapon against the authority figure. Even when Mr. Chiu was told that he had no evidence, no witnesses in his favor and shown the written statements of witnesses there at the scene, Mr. Chiu vehemently continues his argument in a disrespectful manner.

The authorities may or may not have handled the initial confrontation poorly but after this barrage of challenge and insulting remarks, they did what was fair and told him his options and held him in jail until he cooperated – until he was no longer a saboteur. Mr. Chiu’s pride was not the factor that made him change his mind about respecting authority; it was his health. “His desire for peace of mind originated from his fear that his hepatitis might worse. ” (Ha Jin, Saboteur) Mr. Chiu’s lawyer, a former student, came to retrieve him and is treated with the same cold-heartedness and cruelty that Mr. Chiu received.

Because of the current societal structure, police brutality goes unnoticed and Mr. Chiu is forced to make a deal with the Bureau chief. The deal sets Mr. Chiu and his lawyer free. The issue of police brutality is an important issue in any society, and so is public health. Mr. Chiu, even as a proud academic, disregards all his education and knowledge on the subjects and proceeds to intentionally infect the local eateries with his untreated disease. “As if dying of hunger, Mr. Chiu dragged his lawyer from restaurant to restaurant near the police station, but at each place he ordered no more than two bowls of food.

Fenjin wondered why his teacher wouldn’t stay at one place and eat his fill. Mr. Chiu bought noodles, wonton, eight-grain porridge, and chicken soup, respectively, at four restaurants. While eating, he kept saying through his teeth, “If only I could kill all the bastards! ” (Ha Jin, Saboteur) Even his lawyer was confused and surprised at his dark pucker covered and jaundiced face and strange behavior. Mr. Chiu might have started as an innocent person, but his actions at the end proves he’s guilty of participating in the spread of Hepatitis, but not that he‘s the origin of the disease.

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