Study Guide

The Man in the High Castle Chapter 11

By Philip K. Dick

Chapter 11

  • And we're back with Hugo Reiss, surprisingly. (Who knew he was going to get two POV chapters?)
  • Reiss is visited by Kreuz vom Meere, who has news: they totally found that Rudolf Wegener because he went to go meet another secret agent. They know his cover name, which is Baynes (a-ha!), and they know about his meeting at the Nippon Times Building. So Kreuz has a commando team ready to go kidnap him.
  • Reiss doesn't like this plan—the Japanese will surely protest over kidnapping someone in the middle of a meeting. But then he gets a call from Goebbels telling him to cooperate with Kreuz vom Meere. Just to remind us all, Goebbels could have everyone Reiss ever loved ground up into paste. So Reiss agrees even though he doesn't like Kreuz vom Meere or this plan.
  • Meanwhile, Childan is at Paul Kasoura's office to ask about the jewelry he tried to give Betty in order to seduce her. Obviously, Paul doesn't put it in those words when talking to Betty's husband.
  • Paul tells Childan that he never gave Betty the jewelry because it was so silly. All of his friends laughed at it because it's a weird little pin without any real shape.
  • But then Paul realized that the pin had something special. It wasn't wabi (which is like "simple beauty"), which lots of stuff has. This pin has wu (which is like a sense of "holiness" or "completion"). (For the sake of this book, let's all pretend that Dick is an expert on Japanese culture.)
  • So Paul is returning this pin to Childan, not because it's a weird bit of jewelry, but because it's a super-special weird bit of jewelry. Childan has the responsibility of working out how to use this jewelry to make the world better and more balanced.
  • But Paul does have a choice for Childan to make: a business associate of Paul's wants to use this jewelry as the blueprint for cheap, little good luck charms to be sold to lots of superstitious people in South America and elsewhere. That will make lots of money for Childan, but it will also mean that this authentic bit of American art is good for nothing but cheap trinkets.
  • So, will Childan make lots of money or will he try to respect the wu of this Edfrank jewelry?
  • After some internal wrestling, Childan agrees to go along with the business associate—he'll make lots of money by exploiting this work.
  • But Paul seems bothered by this answer, so Childan rethinks the situation. And he comes up with a different answer: this art was made by American artists and he's proud of their work.
  • For once in his racist, anxious, envious life, Childan finally feels a little peace.