Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 16

By An Na

Chapter 16

Strong Is a Man

  • Joon and his friend Spencer are playing with Legos, and you know how kids can get with their Legos.
  • Even though Joon is supposed to get ready and go to Gomo's house with the family, he doesn't stop playing with his Legos, which brings Apa over, who orders Joon to clean up.
  • But Joon just complains about going to Gomo's house (it's boring there) and doesn't budge.
  • You know what's coming right?
  • Apa isn't happy.
  • He fakes being polite to Spencer so that he can get Spencer to go home, but once Spencer leaves, Apa's whole demeanor changes, Jekyll/Hyde-style.
  • At first Apa berates Joon about whining and acting "like a girl"—that's enough to get Joon to start crying, but then Apa slaps him hard, too.
  • That hurts, but Apa doesn't let up because he says he doesn't want Joon to grow up "weak."
  • He lectures Joon again about being strong like a man and tells Joon to repeat what he says.
  • Joon does, so it seems like Apa is going to stop… But then he surprises everyone by kicking Joon in the gut.
  • Uhmma tries to help Joon, but Apa pushes her aside and tells Joon to clean up.
  • The parents walk back to the car outside, while Joon moves to clean his Legos up.
  • Joon tells Young Ju that he hates Apa, and Young Ju nods back in sympathy.
  • Then, as Young Ju helps Joon clean up, one of his Lego flags breaks in her hand.
  • Joon cries out about his flag and then slaps Young Ju across the face, making her ears ring.