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A Single Shard Summary

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Autor:   •  April 30, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,108 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,879 Views

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The setting of the book I read was Korea around the twelve century. The impact it has on the story is the detail in the work that the potters did during their time period. The detail work is what counted, no two things were the same because everything was hand-made. They didn't have technology to make stuff or mass produce something. Everything was made by hand and it showed their skill.

The main character of this book is Tree-ear. When he was younger, his parents didn't have the ability to take care of him. He was brought to a temple of monks and they took him in until they could find someone that could take care of him. They brought him to a small town called Ch'ulp'o. He was taken in by a kind person named Crane-man. Crane-man had a disability. One of his legs were weaker and he had to use a cane to get around. They both lived homeless under a bridge. Tree-ear has a dream, to become a potter making celadon clay. Another of the characters is Min. He is a famous potter and known of. He is one of the few potters in Ch'ulp'o that doesn't have an apprentice. He isn't the nicest guy to be around but still does the best work.

Now the book started out in Ch'ulp'o. Tree-ear was young. They were always looking for a meal and Tree-ear would go to Min's house once in awhile to watch him work. One day he broke something of Min's. He was too poor to pay him back with money so he offered his services to pay off the debt. Min accepts his offer and Tree-ear goes home for the night and has to come to work the next morning. Tree-ear expects that he will be helping Min make pottery but when he gets there, he is told to get wood for the kiln. Its his turn to put wood in the kiln and Tree-ear is surprised. Well, he gets there and fills up the cart like he is told. He has a hard time pushing the cart back because it is heavy to him. It takes the whole day to chop the wood and bring it to the kiln. He finishes his services and when it is all done, he asks Min if he can work for him for free since he's interested in pottery. At first Min says no to his kind offer and then he gets talked into letting him work for him. Well, for his kind services, Min's wife pays him off with food knowing that he wasn't too fortunate. Tree-ear hasn't forgotten about Crane-man though. Out of the food Min's wife gives him to eat, he brings a bowl from home and saves the rest for Crane-man. He hides the bowl at first so Min's wife doesn't expect that he is disrespecting her by not finishing it. But she finds it at a point and knows about Crane-man. She fills it up for him all the way so he has a meal to eat. This goes on for a bit and then news comes round that a royal commission is going to happen soon. A commission means that he going to go to work for the emperor and will pretty much live the perfect life. The emperor appreciates the work of his royal potter because the details like said before. After the news is heard and Min Starts to work on something new for the judge from the emperor. He makes around 7-8 replicas of one pot just to make it right and symmetrical, and picks only the best to show. Tree-ear goes one day to drop off the pots from Min to the kiln. He notices another potter in town and sees something that hasn't been done in pottery before. He sees inscribed work on the pots. He goes back and thinks about what to do, either tell Min about the work or don't tell him. He goes home after the day and talks to Crane-man about what to do. He asks him for help to ask him if its stealing if no one else no's about it and wasn't suppose to know about it or was it ok for him to tell Min about what he saw. He is convinced that he should just act like he didn't notice anything. The commission came to the town and all the stalls were setup. Tree-ear was done helping Min with setting up his stall, so he went off exploring the other stalls. All the others had the same kind of design except for one other. He created inscribed work and everyone is interested in his work because of this. The royal judge was interested in this potter's work. He liked Min's work also so he gave him more time to make more things. The royal judge gave this amateur potter a temporary commission. When they came back from seeing the royal judge, Min asked him what the big deal was? Tree-ear said that the potter made a new kind of design of inscribed work. Time went by and Min made 8 copies of one pot with inscribed work. He didn't like 6 of them because they were the "wrong" color of celadon clay. The last two had flawless detail and were perfect. He had to think of a way to get them to the emperor in Songdo. Min was incapable of traveling their nor was his wife. Tree-ear thought of something. He could take the trip and bring the pottery there. Min said he could take the trip if it was ok with Crane-man. Tree-ear went home to discuss this with Crane-man. Crane-man said to do what Tree-ear thought was right, so he decided to take the trip. Tree-ear asked his master of a favor though. He wanted to see if Crane-man would take over his duties while he was gone. Crane-man questioned him because he said Min was doing ok before he was there so why wouldn't he be able to take care of himself? He said its not Min that I want u to do this for, Its Min's wife. She could use his help and he is taking the journey mainly because of her. The next day, they're in a dilemma. They need something strong to carry the two precious pots to Songdo. Crane-man says he can build something durable and delicate enough not to scratch the pottery. He uses straw to weave a case. He double lines it so it is strong enough so it won't tear apart. He places silk inside where the two pots are going to be so they don't receive any damage. Crane-man brings it to Min and Min wants to make sure it will keep his precious work safe. He puts in two test pots. Once in they ask Tree-ear to throw it and practically try to destroy them. He does his worst and then they open the container. Nothing is damaged so Crane-man made it


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