The first four chapters of the book “Your Paradise” by Ch’ŏngjum Yi (pages from 5 to 72) introduce the island, where patients with leprosy can get their treatment, find a kind of shelter, and use the help offered. The story begins with the arrival of a new director of the leper colony, Colonel Cho Paeghŏn. He comes wearing the military form that makes some patients as well as workers treat him very cautiously and even feel uneasy. However, his arrival symbolizes a new beginning, a change that has to be accepted by everyone on the island.
The chapters under consideration aim at describing some general conditions under which more than five thousand patients and two hundred workers have to live and the beauty of the island that consists of seven villages with their own rules and functions. Another peculiar feature of the reading is the role of a new director and his intentions to gain control over everything from the very beginning and make numerous attempts to change and improve something within a short period.
The main theme of the chapters is about the relations between people of different positions: some general facts about the relations between the patients and workers, patients and their families, co-workers, managers, and their leaders. It is very important to find a piece of understanding to get a chance and develop appropriate relations.
The communication between Paeghŏn and Sanguk, the head of the Hygiene Division, lasts almost during the whole chapters. It is used to introduce the history of the island, with its problems, rules, and functions to explain to the reader that much information will be presented soon. And though some Sanguk’s words “are too intelligent sounding” for a new director (Yi 43), Paeghŏn is ready for a new challenge and tries to comprehend the expectations of the people around.
Questions about the Reading
Why does Sanguk decide to tell a new director about the patients’ escape as soon as possible?
This question helps the reader evaluate the situation on the island and focus on the roles of different people within the leper colony described in the chapters. The attention to the details of the escape, the description of the reactions of different workers, and the role of Sanguk on the island can make the answer to this question clearer and more interesting and prove that the reader understands the text under consideration.
What is the actual role of the suggestion boxes?
To answer this question, the reader should learn thoroughly the text and demonstrate his/her understanding of the matter. The idea to use the suggestion boxes has its own backgrounds. The way of how people treat this idea deserves much attention and tells a lot about the relations, which are developed within the island.
Why does the author combine the description of the island’s nature with the description of the relations on the same island?
The answer to this question may promote students developing their understanding of the text and the author’s intentions. It is possible to say that the author simply wants to distract the reader from dry facts about the island’s inhabitants.
However, it is also possible to find some connection between the beauty of the island and its true purposes. People with leprosy are in need of some beautiful things in their lives to get through the problems. The attention to the natural beauty around may be regarded as one of the supporting details used by the author.
Yi, Ch’ŏngjum. Your Paradise. København & Los Angeles, CA: Green Integer, 2004. Print.