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ERIC Number: ED022746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-Oct
Pages: 3
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
"The Martyred."
Geller, Robert
The Teachers Guide to Media and Methods, v4 n2 p31-2 Oct 1967
Unlike other modern fictional heroes, Captain Lee, the South Korean intelligence officer in Richard Kim's novel, "The Martyred," achieves personal fulfillment only when he sacrifices his passionate principles and joins the "establishment." As part of his military job, he is required to investigate and affirm the heroism of 12 Christian ministers martyred by the Communists, thus providing hope to despairing peasants who must also meet death at Communist hands. While exploring the incident, however, Lee discovers that the 12 "heroes" aren't good and that the "cowards," who saved their own lives by confessing readily to lies and cowardice, are perversely heroic. Lee, at first, angrily denies the sentimental myths surrounding the 12 "good" men, but he eventually bends and "with a wondrous lightness of heart" joins the refugees in singing a song of homage to their homeland and the 12 "invincible" martyrs. Because the novel does not answer clearly whether Lee's decision is praiseworthy or damnable, it can be used successfully in the classroom to investigate ethical complexities and to test hypothetically the students' moral fiber. (JB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
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