What the Men in Uniform Say Goes

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Milano
Words 1634
Pages 7
What the Men in Uniform Say Goes

Ha Jin bridges a literary gap between America and China with his Chinese based literature. Jin was born and raised in China during the time period Mao Tse-tung, but moved to America as an adult. Rather than depicting his life through an autobiography, he utilizes short stories to dictate his life experiences. In the short story “Saboteur”, Ha Jin depicts how a corrupt legal system can commit any action without repercussions.

Jin provides an abundant amount of examples of demoralization occurring within the walls of justice from the start of the story to the finale. The story begins as a serene lunch between newlyweds at a train station. Mr. Chiu and his wife are on the receiving ends of mockery by two police officers. Right from the beginning the reader can comprehend that the officers are disrespectful. The average person knows that it is discourteous to laugh and steal glances at the person he or she is laughing at; one would hope that someone who is supposed to protect the public would respect those who they are attempting to defend.

The mood for the scene is set in play as Jin writes “The air smelled of rotten melon” (163). Granted, they are located in an area where various food stations are located, however, the melon reference delivers the message that foul play is present. The rotten smell gives an uneasy, queasy vibe. Note that the author mentioned that air is filled with the odor, rather than a particular area, which is interpreted as the justice system that surrounds everybody and everywhere is tainted and spoiled.

Disrespect to Mr. Chiu and his wife morphs into abuse of power against Mr. Chui once an altercation erupts between Mr. Chui and the officers. Chiu confronts the police offer after a bowl of tea was thrown at the feet belonging to the married couple. Such confrontation was not tolerated with the…...

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