The chapters from 30 to 40 turn out to be a symbolic end of the story where faith, war, truth, and duties have to go hand in hand. The main character, Captain Lee, has to live through his last trials and prove his own positions and ideals. It is not an easy task for him to convince the other people to follow him, still, he is not ready to leave them. The chosen chapters of the book “The Martyred” by Richard Kim prove that religion can define the way of life considerably.
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Through these chapters, it becomes clear that Mr. Shin is not fascinated with the idea of being a religious man. “All my life I have searched for God… but I found the only man with all his sufferings… and death, inexorable death!” (Kim 159). Mr. Shin seems to be frustrated with all his actions and beliefs, but he has nothing to do but stay with the other people, who are looking for some support and explanations and provide them with the required portion of help and “the illusion of hope” (Kim 160).
In his turn, Colonel Chang proves his loyalty to his duties and the desire to be helpful. He died to prove his ideas and the correctness of his decisions. Park’s death and his decision to be buried as a Christian proves that the power of faith may be huge, indeed even over the people who have not believed in it for a long period of time.
In general, the chapters under consideration describe the struggle between the necessity to follow certain duties and to have faith. The majority of characters (Mr. Shin, Chaplain Koh, and Major Minn) prove that their faith in God and their responsibilities are stronger than anything else in their lives. And such characters like Mr. Lee and Mr. Chang demonstrate how it is possible to stay loyal to their military services and not to neglect the faith as a leading factor of human life.
Questions about the Reading
What is the difference between the ideas of being holy, brave, and decent?
The answer to this question requires the analysis of the actions made by Major Minn. He does not want to die; still, he cannot leave his patients. He does not want to admit that faith plays an important role in his life; this is why when the time to make a decision to save his own life or to stay devoted to his duties comes, he tries to weigh many pros and cons to be fair to himself.
Is it correct to use lies in order to provide people with hope and strengths to survive?
In order to answer this question, it is necessary to evaluate the actions of Mr. Shin and his decision to be loyal to his faith and his God just to be able to provide other miserable people with some portion of hope that everything can be better than it is. However, the idea of this question is that Mr. Shin uses lies to support people, and this issue cannot be ignored.
Does Lee really want to save Mr. Shin and Chaplain?
This question should make a person remember and analyze all actions, words, and explanations used by Mr. Lee to convince Mr. Shin and Mr. Koh to leave the town that is going to be destroyed. This answer should help to understand the true intentions of Mr. Lee in regards to his duties, personal attitudes, and the promises given to different people. There may be no right or wrong answer to such a question. It is a kind of personal understanding of Lee’s behavior and attitude toward different people.
Kim, Richard, E. The Martyred. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2011. Print.