Study Guide

The Man in the High Castle Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

  • Just like Frink, Tagomi is consulting the I Ching, which is the ancient Chinese version of Google. (For more on the I Ching, check out "Symbols" and "Best of the Web" for an online version.)
  • Tagomi is a powerful trade official here, but he's worried about his business meeting with Mr. Baynes. Baynes is a Swedish businessman who is coming here to make a deal about plastic injection molds (whee!).
  • That's actually kind of exciting. But Tagomi is extra-nervous because the original message from his bosses in Japan hinted that Baynes might be… different from what he seems to be.
  • Meanwhile—and get used to "meanwhiles," because almost every chapter has more than one POV going on—Childan is taking a pedecab to Tagomi's office in the Nippon Times Building.
  • Childan has many authentic pieces of Americana to offer.
  • Childan is also very focused on status and etiquette, so he thinks about the proper way to address different people—white Americans, Japanese, Germans, Americans working for the Japanese, etc.
  • In Chapter 1, we saw what Frink thought of the Germans; here, we get Childan's POV on them. He thinks they had some good ideas (like pushing the Poles and Slavs out of Europe), but that they sometimes got carried away (like when they killed off almost the entire black population of Africa).
  • And Childan remembers how he became a dealer in Americana. It all started when a Japanese man came to his old store (in a bad part of town) and they discussed old timey American things. Childan had firsthand memory of this history, so he impressed the Japanese collector and his friends—and that's how Childan got into the collecting business.

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