Study Guide

The Orphan Master's Son Part 1, Pages 91-112

By Adam Johnson

Part 1, Pages 91-112

  • Jun Do wakes up in the room of the Second Mate's wife. He's all kinds of messed up from his encounter with the old man.
  • Jun Do listens to the "news" from the loudspeaker during the day, and then the Second Mate's wife comes home from her work in the cannery to take care of him. He can't move on his own.
  • The Second Mate's wife takes care of Jun Do's wounds and notices that Sun Moon, in his tattoo, is all black and blue.
  • Jun Do sees the Second Mate's "America shoes"—the ones he supposedly threw over the side of the boat—on a shelf in the room. He also sees a chart from the Junma with pins in the fishing grounds they'd visited. It was supposed to have been burnt with other papers from the boat.
  • The wife wants to know if her husband had really pulled a knife on American sailors. She thinks that Jun Do is an intelligence officer who is trying to learn about a war on the bottom of the sea.
  • Jun Do tells the Second Mate's wife that he is just a radio guy, not an intelligence officer—and that the Second Mate really did pull a knife.
  • The Second Mater's wife tells Jun Do that her husband had a lot of crazy plans in mind. She tends to him for a bit longer and then goes out for the night.
  • Jun Do wakes up to the news on the loudspeaker: this time, it's about a delegation going to America to discuss important issues.
  • Jun Do's still a mess, unable to move, unaware of how much time has passed. And he's alone in the room.
  • Jun Do can hear the movement and barking of dogs on the roof. When the Second Mate's wife reappears, she has a new suitcase. She thinks she's going to Pyongyang as the wife of a prominent official (since she's so beautiful and the wife of a hero).
  • Jun Do reminds the Second Mate's wife that she is the widow of a hero—and she doesn't like that very much.
  • Later on, the Captain stops by with some beers and tuna for Jun Do.
  • The Captain reminds Jun Do that he will get a reward for his "heroic" behavior. Jun Do says he only wants to stay on the Junma.
  • Since he can't think of anything the officials can give him, the Captain passive-aggressively asks if Jun Do will try to get his wife back for him. He asks Jun Do at least to consider it.
  • Through the window of his room, Jun Do sees the Second Mate's wife surrounded by drunk officials in the courtyard. When she reaches the room, she's crying—apparently she's been the victim of assault, or at least of some awful words.
  • The Second Mate's wife had been trying to impress people with her appearance and her singing voice, since her new husband was to be chosen soon.
  • The Second Mate's wife tells the story of how a pretty girl like her wound up in a job at a fish cannery. Her father didn't want her to disappear, like all the other pretty girls, so he kept her home. Then he pulled strings to get her the job at the cannery. Jun Do explains that her father was just trying to protect her. After all, what makes her think that the other pretty girls had a better fate?
  • Jun Do learns from the Second Mate's wife that the Second Mate pretty much worshipped him. He also learns that it was the Second Mate who set the boat on fire while reading Jun Do's dictionaries by candlelight.
  • The Second Mate's wife also reveals that the Second Mate had wanted to defect for a while. She only wanted to go to Pyongyang.
  • Jun Do tells the Second Mate's wife that he wants his radio, which is on the table at the canning master's house.
  • In the morning, Jun Do is at last well enough to stand and wait in line for the bathroom. When he returns to his room, the old man is there.
  • The old man wants to know what the Nikes are. And what the radio is for. Jun Do tells him the radio is work related and not entirely put together.
  • The old man has brought Jun Do a medal for heroism. Jun Do is not impressed.
  • The old man hints that there is a plan being set in motion to "stick it to the Americans" for what they did to Jun Do and the Second Mate. He also says that the Captain wants Jun Do on another boat. Jun Do tells him there's no bad blood between them—the Captain just needs his wife back.
  • The old man thinks that the Captain's wife wasn't reassigned a husband, since she was old. Maybe she just left him?
  • Jun Do asks what will happen to the Second Mate's wife. The old man tells him that she'll do okay, but she isn't going to Pyongyang to be with some bigwig official, since she's not a young virgin.
  • The old man thinks that maybe Jun Do wants her for himself, which he discourages. Jun Do says no; he wants his rights as a hero.
  • The old man quickly reminds Jun Do that heroes don't have rights—only privileges.