Who is the antagonist in "Saboteur" by Ha Jin?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Ha Jin's story "Saboteur," the police are the antagonists, as they are constantly in opposition to the protagonist, Mr. Chiu. When he is peacefully eating with his new wife, a policeman tosses tea on their feet. When Mr. Chiu complains, the police deny their actions and arrest him, charging him without evidence with being a saboteur. Although Mr. Chiu is a Communist Party member, the police have long been acting against him and have compiled a large dossier against him. Mr. Chiu is sick with hepatitis, but the warden in the prison refuses to help him. In the end, Mr. Chiu must sign a false confession of his crimes so that he and his former student can be released from jail. The police, who accuse him without any reason and who show disregard for his health, are the antagonists in this story.