What is Mr. Chiu's initial reaction to his arrest in Ha Jin's short story, "Saboteur?"

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Ha Jin's short story, "Saboteur," Chiu and his wife are drinking tea at a restaurant in Muji, China, where they are spending the last day of their honeymoon. All of a sudden, a police officer seated nearby, for no apparent reason, flings his tea onto Chiu and his wife.

Chiu can find no reason for the man's behavior and he lodges a complaint with him. Chiu is expecting that the officer will apologize, but he does not do so. In fact, he begins to arrest Chiu for disturbing the peace. When an angry Chiu resists, the policeman becomes physically aggressive, "manhandling" the university professor.

Once Chiu is taken to the jail, he is thrown in a cell, and he fears for his safety as his hepatitis, which he had been recovering from, reoccurs...causing Chiu to relapse and become very ill in the cell. He resigns himself to his situation, doing the best he can to control the extent of the advancement of his illness. The next thing he knows, the police show him a large file they have compiled, with witnesses supporting the policeman's charges, and an additional charge of sabotage. They demand that he sign a confession.

Knowing he has done nothing to warrant the police officer's behavior, Chiu becomes outraged when the officer "assaults" him and his wife at the restaurant.

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