One Sentence

“No one was getting out of Korea, not for years.” Sometimes I like to tell my students to look for certain lines that sum up the story in one sentence, that speak to all its thematic and emotional elements. The idea isn’t to simplify the story but to show how language communicates more than what’s said literally.

Watching Leavitt trying to negotiate his past and his plans for the future, we soon see how fragile past and present are. History pushes us toward fate. Leavitt is a man who once had nothing to live for and now has everything at stake. For him, or for anyone, the moment of understanding what really matters may come too late.

—Michael Croley

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