Study Guide

The Man in the High Castle Chapter 14

By Philip K. Dick

Chapter 14

  • Juliana doesn't seem so bothered by leaving Joe to bleed out, but Tagomi is still unhappy about killing those Nazis. Especially since he used his awesome "antique" gun, which kind of ruins that part of his collection.
  • So he goes to Childan's shop, hoping to sell the gun back. But Childan isn't about to refund anything—especially a gun that might or might not be authentic.
  • But Childan does offer Tagomi some of this interesting Edfrank jewelry. And he'll even give Tagomi a 100% refund if he's not happy with it.
  • Tagomi buys a little small silver triangle, partly because Childan seems so sure of it. (Unlike his usual fawning self, Childan is standing up for what he believes in.)
  • Tagomi goes to a park with his new jewelry and starts to experiment with his consciousness (dude). He looks at the jewelry, he holds it, he shakes and threatens it, he listens to it, he smells it, and he even puts it in his mouth. (That's pretty much how we treat our smartphones.)
  • He seems to appreciate the pin as an interesting melding of earthly stuff (metal, the underworld, death) and heavenly stuff (fire, spirit, light).
  • Tagomi even feels like he's on the verge of a major breakthrough when some passing cop says something and breaks Tagomi's concentration.
  • Tagomi is incredibly annoyed, so leaves the park and discovers… that the world isn't what he remembered. Instead of pedecabs, there are cars. And there's the Embarcadero Freeway, yuck. And when Tagomi tries to take refuge at a lunch counter, none of the white people give up their seats for him, which would never happen in his world.
  • So Tagomi realizes that he's in a different world, a world where Japan didn't win the war.
  • Tagomi runs back to the park to find the silver triangle where he left it. After concentrating on the jewelry, he slips back into his own timeline.
  • After that really weird experience, instead of going to get a checkup at the doctor, Tagomi feels well enough to go to the office and get back to work.
  • Back at the office, Tagomi's assistant Ramsey tells Tagomi that both Baynes and Tedeki have left. Also, the German consul Hugo Reiss is here, hoping to get Tagomi's signature on an extradition order for Frank Frink.
  • But Tagomi refuses to sign and tells them to release Frank Frink. Yay.
  • And then Tagomi has a heart attack—which makes this a pretty busy day for him.
  • Thanks to Tagomi, Frank Frink gets released instead of shipped over to some Nazi death chamber, so it's a pretty good day.
  • To celebrate, Frank goes back to the workshop and gets back to making jewelry.
  • Like Tagomi, Frank realizes that he will never really understand what this whole thing is about. But we can try, right? Right?