Which characters show weaknesses in A Single Shard?

Two characters who show weaknesses are Min and Kang. Min is a gifted artist and crafter as well as a generous mentor to Tree-Ear, or Hyung-pil. However, his flaws are being a perfectionist and expecting too much of others. Kang, who is also a talented artist, has the opposite weakness. He tends to be hasty, which often mars his work.

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Many of the characters in A Single Shard are portrayed as good people, and they treat Tree-Ear, the protagonist, well or indifferently. Only the robbers who attack Tree-Ear are total, one-dimensional antagonists. Tree-Ear endures hardships but is fortunate in gaining an apprenticeship with Min, a renowned potter. Min eventually becomes a caring mentor to Tree-Ear, who later assumes the new name of Hyung-pil and becomes like a second son.

Min’s character flaws are more evident in relationship to his work, but they also affect his personal life. Because Min is a perfectionist, he sets the highest standards for himself and is impatient with others who do not meet those standards. At first, he solely requires Tree-Ear to do difficult tasks, such as getting clay or menial jobs around the workshop. Tree-Ear's own initiative is needed to overcome Min's skepticism so he can learn meaningful skills that will lead him to become a proficient potter.

A younger potter, Kang, provides a sharp contrast to Min. Kang has flashes of brilliance that fuel his innovative approach to ceramics. One special innovation is a method of creating inlaid patterns. Kang's weakness is his impatience and haste. He does not take the time to produce uniformly high-quality pots. This impatience makes him sloppy and frustrates his desire to accomplish his goals.

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