phenomenal concept that he has fused into. It is something for which he will give his life. How did this
those involved in the revolution.
An examination of Ch’en’s past gives us an idea of how he formed his beliefs, and fell into a state of
four, his uncle was taken hostage and killed because he couldn’t afford the ransom, and with no wife or
Smithson, representative of the thousands of Christians that were present in Shanghai, who gave him his
contemplation or the inner life; but he hated contemplation and would only have dreamt of an apostleship,
for which precisely his absence of charity disqualified him” (64). Thus, he was unable to be a devout
Christian, and in addition to this Old Gisors makes a comment about Ch’en’s basis for a belief: “No sooner
had he observed Ch’en than he had understood that!
Mongolian than a Chinese national. His attachment to a class rather than a nation is reflected in Suan, who
states “I don’t want to create China… I want to create my people, with or without her. The poor. It’s for
them that I’m willing to die, to kill. For them only….” (189). It is clear that Ch’en and Suan do not feel as
culture, and no one feels like an !
Ch’en had no money, but only worthless diplomas. He was a truck driver, then an assistant chemist:
though wretchedly (he was naturally austere, perhaps through pride), the gratification of his hatreds, his
Ch’en can not live in his present situation, however “The world they were preparing condemned him –
Ch’en – as much as it did that of their enemies” (103). What would he do in a factory? He is not taken as a
working class member, as seen by the scene in which the antiquarian believes him to be of the higher class.
The store clerk is somewhat justified for Ch’en lies between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, with his
the new; he is an instrument of destruction.
Ch’en lives by the ideology of action – terrorism. Even his physical appearance is suggestive of his line of
work. He has hawk-like physical features, indicating a bird of prey. Ch’en clearly states his intentions:
“I’m not looking for peace. I’m looking for… the opposite. (173). In addition, Ch’en devotion to his cause
is phenomenal. To him, terrorism is even greater than a religion. This is seen through the dialogue
between Gisors and Ch’en. Gisors asks “You want to make a kind of religion of terrorism?” (192), and
Chen responds, “Not a religion. The meaning of life. The…the complete possession of oneself. Total.
Absolute. To know. Not to be looking, looking, always, for ideas, for duties” (192). It becomes clear as
to how it is possible to commit one’s life to the cause. The cause, which is a means to an end, becomes the
end in itself.
ideology. This dichotomy is further exemplified through the transition from Ch’en’s state of mind to the
outside, and the inability to recognize one’s own recorded voice. These are representative of the switch
between the individual mind and the bigger causes to which he serves, as well as the existential dilemma
is much more important to serve the higher objective, and he serves it as a sacrificial priest.
Ch’en makes his connection with others through death. This can be demonstrated through Hemmelrich’s
vengeance than in life….’One can kill with love’” (267). This is supported by Ch’en’s actions. For before
Ch’en kills he always inflicts upon himself some sort of physical harm. In doing so he feels what his victim
will feel, and Ch’en identifies with him in this way.
Ch’en, like many followers of the revolution, were completely dedicated to the cause. However, it is ironic
that it is still the Chinese who do the “dirty work.” It is he who kills the first victim of the insurrection to
get the document necessary to gain access to the guns, and it is he who takes the most physically active role
and eventually gives his life for the cause. It is those who are not ethnically Chinese who are giving the
orders, and assuming the highest positions. So dedicated is Chen that the fear of death does not ward him
off, it actually calls him to battle, and he decides to continue as planned to kill Chiang Kai-Shek. Despite
the fact that people who fail in an attempted suicide rarely try again, Ch’en goes out for a second assault.
He wants the action of the revolution, yet he realizes that if Chiang Kai-Shek were killed and Ch’en lived
then he would be obsolete as a terrorist. His ultimate fulfillment is brought about by dying for his cause.
e knows how much weight an idea acquires through the blood that is shed in its name. Ch’en’s thought
before he kills himself indicates that he achieves a peace through suicide: “And suddenly everything
dreams which take possession of us because we give them force, but which we can just as easily deny”
(180). This is further reinforced by Ch’en’s idea that “In the last hour I have felt nothing of what used to
weigh on me” (192).
Ch’en is the terrorist for the insurrection. His faith had isolated himself from the world instead of
submitting to it. We have a personal need for connection, Ch’en is isolated until the end, when all
importantly to die for his cause – a cause that is much greater than the individual. In the end Ch’en becomes