Sections 8–9 Summary

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Last Updated on June 22, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 526

A week after Henry is assigned to the advance media team, he meets Kwang. As Henry works on Kwang’s schedule with Janice, the politician walks into campaign headquarters. Henry watches Kwang from a distance as the man makes his way across the room, shaking hands and otherwise acknowledging all the volunteers. Henry notices that Kwang seems to have a special affinity for Eduardo, the other member of Henry’s media team. Both Kwang and Eduardo, Henry has learned, practiced boxing at one time. When Kwang comes up to Eduardo, the two of them pretend to jab at one another as if they were in the midst of a bout. After they are finished, Kwang finally looks at Henry, and Henry shares a sense of recognition with the man. Henry’s feeling is similar to how he felt when he first met Luzan, his previous subject of investigation. With both men, Henry felt as if he knew them from the first moment they met.

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Although Kwang is ten years younger, Kwang reminds Henry of his father. Both men share a certain vitality. Henry surmises that his father probably would have admired Kwang if he had met him. However, the more Henry studies Kwang, he also sees differences between Kwang and his father. One distinction is the way Kwang walks, which is with strides that only men with longer legs can achieve. He walks as if he is a “primed athlete.” Kwang is also not afraid of mixing with people outside his culture. One of Kwang’s greatest talents, Henry thinks, is his ability to make people unaware of their differences. Kwang makes people believe that he understands them, that they are kin.

Although he does not go into detail, Henry offers a preview of his eventual relationship with Kwang. He begins his statement by making it clear that the depth of relationship he develops is not a part of his job. The information he is responsible for submitting to his boss merely scratches the surface. However, Henry will be able to go much further. As he stays with Kwang and gets to know him better, Kwang begins to remove several of his social “masks” for Henry’s benefit. Henry states that in the end, Kwang exposes to him his most personal and private persona.

Back to the present, during one of the media events Kwang attends, Henry works with Eduardo to help control the crowd. There are more people and more news reporters there than Henry and Eduardo had expected. Everyone is standing in front of a local church. Kwang had briefly met with several pastors. After their meeting, Kwang gives an address, attempting to calm everyone’s nerves about recent racially incited crimes. Just as Kwang is ending his speech, loud popping sounds are heard in the vicinity where Kwang was standing. Eduardo immediately throws himself around Kwang to protect him as Henry rushes in front of them, attempting to make a path through the crowd. This section of the novel ends with Henry helping to escort Kwang to the campaign car; he nods to Kwang, who is visibly shaken, as the car drives away.

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Sections 10–11 Summary