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Saboteur

At first glance, Mr. Chiu's revenge was neither justified nor proportionate.  Mr. Chiu had no moral right to infect innocent people with hepatitis. Besides, he indirectly killed six people including two children. The non proportionality of his revenge was illustrated by the number of infected people. Thus, on the one side we see two men who were tortured but still were alive and could continue to live. On the other side there are two actually innocent children and eight hundred infected who suffered for the crimes of the local police.

In addition, it is not obvious that those policemen that had maltreated Mr. Chiu and Fenjin were affected by infection and became the victims of Mr. Chiu's revenge. The cruelty of his actions is non human. Perhaps, it is explained by the fact that Mr. Chiu's colleagues “joked about his flesh, which they said must have tasted nonhuman to flea” (Jin). Consequently, we may see that his revenge was blind and caused not by the wish to conduct justice but by his inability to resist local police as actually all facts were fabricated against him and he had no chance of successful outcome in case of court claim.

Nevertheless, could Mr. Chiu be really affected by such primitive emotions? He continued to think about his paper on the nature of contradictions even being in the prison so his mind was clear all the time. Besides, he was “an expert in dialectical materialism” so he could easily find all pros and contras of his actions and those arguments must have been rather sophisticated. Can we find any justification for his actions? Actually, there is at least one possible.

Local police based its charges on the evidences of people who crowded around Mr. Chiu at the moment of his quarrel with two policemen. Each of those witnesses was a liar and they made Mr. Chiu and his friend suffer and threatened his life. From this point of view not only policemen were criminals but also other simple people were so. Their criminality reflected not only in the false evidences but also in their inability to resist local police and to set fair authorities. Policemen were not an alien element of that society as they originated from it and actually were a part of the society and the monster created by that weak-hearted society. Hence, Mr. Chiu's revenge was justified as he punished the same society which had indirectly led to his sufferings.

Was it right to kill those two children? As for me, neither wish for justice may be justified by the child's tears but we shall try to look at it from China's cultural perspective. The history of China is full of examples when not only the family of delinquent official but also the families of his relatives were executed. Thus, the idea was that children were responsible for the crimes of their parents. The reason of such cruelty was not only the wish to exclude the possibility of relatives' revenge but also to eliminate those social factors that led to offense. In case of Mr. Chiu such social factor was an absence of will and conformism of the locals who had not resisted the police but upheld its actions. Hence, Mr. Chiu had revenged in the spirit of Chinese traditions and it may be justified and may be found to be proportionate in the light of that society's ideas but not the society recognizing the importance of human rights. Nevertheless, even in such case, Mr. Chiu's actions lacked a very important element.

It may be presumed that revenge is a sort of justice. Both Utilitarian and Natural Law theories of justice indicate that there shall be a connection between the crime and the punishment. Natural law theory says that offender shall understand that he or she is punished for the specific crime he or she committed and Utilitarian theory claims that punishment shall influence the offender and other people in the way to preclude repetition of the crime (West). Were any of such motives present in Mr. Chiu's actions? None. Affected people could not know the reason of the disease, they didn't understand that it was a punishment for their conformism and consequently did not change their behavior.

Hence, Mr. Chiu's revenge may not be justified from any point of view and I consider it to be a blind cruel revenge caused by his powerlessness.

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