Han's Crime Themes

Shiga Naoya
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One of the most important themes of "Han's Crime" concerns guilt and innocence; specifically, the question of what constitutes guilt. In the story, Han is guilty of many things: hating his wife, quarreling with her over how quickly she prepares his supper, even thinking life would be better for him if she were dead. He acknowledges being able to speak of his wife's death "cheerfully," and admits to having had murderous thoughts; he is not sorry that she is dead. He confesses that he threw the knife that severed his wife's carotid artery and yet, startlingly, the judge pronounces Han "innocent" after listening to Han's reflection of his crime, even though Han neither repents nor expresses any remorse for what has happened to his wife.

How can the judge find Han "innocent" after listening to his confession? The narrator says that the judge's duty is to...

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This section contains 1,933 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Han's Crime Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Han's Crime from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.