Sections 22–23 Summary

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Last Updated on June 22, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 401

The people have turned against John Kwang. They march to his house and protest, carrying signs claiming Kwang is a "smuggler" of illegal immigrants who steal jobs.

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Henry stands with the crowd, not to protest but to see Kwang. It has been 36 hours since Kwang's accident, and no one has seen him. When Henry finds Janice, she tells him that May, Kwang's wife, is "losing it" from the pressure. Janice is afraid Kwang might have committed suicide. Henry, however, knows that Korean people do not take their own lives, at least not from shame. Suffering is the "noblest art" in Korean culture. His mother taught him that Koreans suffer in silence. She would have declared Kwang a fool. Kwang had it all, a good wife and strong children, a good business selling dry-cleaning equipment. However, Kwang thought he could claim more. His mother would have said this was Kwang's biggest mistake. With his Korean looks, Kwang should have known he could only go so far in this, his adopted country.

Henry still defends Kwang. He believes Kwang never considered his money collections wrong. In a Korean mind, creating a ggeh ensured financial stability for the larger family, the community. Kwang would not have paid attention to who was legal or illegal. Kwang was not seeking power, only trying to help his people.

The next day, Jack pulls up and drives off after Henry gets in. Henry asks if he knew about Kwang's involvement in Eduardo's death. Jack answers that he only knew Hoagland was not involved in the bombing. Eduardo worked for Hoagland, Jack admits. Publishing Kwang's donors and ggeh details were Hoagland's way of avenging Eduardo's death.

After Henry leaves Jack, he returns to Kwang's home. Kwang returns and the crowd calls him racist names. When people rush at Kwang, punching him, pulling his hair, Henry runs forward to protect him. When Kwang sees Henry, he recoils like a frightened child.

Time passes. In the final scene, Henry is inside Kwang's empty house. A realtor shows Henry the place and when he asks, tells him the family has returned to Korea.

As the story ends, Henry decides to work as his wife's assistant. He helps Lelia's students get over their fears by dressing up in costume and mask as the Speech Monster. He pretends to gobble up children who can only protect themselves by correctly pronouncing the day's secret phrase.

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Sections 20–21 Summary