The Shadow Hero (75-152) Close Reading Response

“Tortoise Spirit: Sometime, a fight you cannot win is still worth fighting.

Hank: That has about to be the worst advice ever given to someone who’s about to get his block knocked– wait a minute… Ten Grand you win!

Ten Grand: What was that?!

Hank: Look at that! Nothing’s broke.

Ten Grand: It’s as if there’s an invisible shield in front of you

Hank: All your fights end with your victory. Another strike would continue a fight that has already ended
Tortoise Spirit: With promises, wording is everything” (Yang & Liew, 145-146)

In this passage, Hank Chu, aka the Green Turtle is fighting a blind kingpin named Ten Grand. Hank is possessed by a Tortise Spirit that grants him the ability to dodge bullets while Ten Grand has a Dragon Spirit that allows him to win all his fights. However, knowing that the criminal always wins, Hank decides to surrender. Ten Grand’s punches then do no damage.

During the fight, the Tortoise Spirit tells Hank that “sometimes, a fight you cannot win is still worth fighting” (Yang & Liew, 145). The Tortoise Spirt saying how an unwinnable fight can still be worth fighting to be rather important. In this case, there seems to be no way for the Green Turtle to win. After all, Ten Grand wins all his fights. However, the spirit is reinforcing the Green Turtle’s desire to punish the criminals for his father’s murder on page 66, even if punching is futile.

When brute force doesn’t work, Hank has an idea: surrender to the blind man. Amazingly, the ploy worked for Ten Grand punched all he wants but “it’s as if there’s an invisible shield in front of (Hank)” (Yang & Liew, 146). The hero explains how he has won: “All your fights end with your victory. Another strike would continue a fight that has already ended” (Yang & Liew, 146). How Hank wins emphasis on the importance of outthinking the enemy instead of outfighting them.

The Tortoise Spirit follows up by saying that “with promises, wording is everything” (Yang & Liew, 146). The quote about promises and wording is significant for it shows that no plan is ever foolproof, even if the solution is as unconventional as surrendering. Ten Grand wished for to win all his fights but never asked for something to deal with an enemy who loses on purpose. Because of this, the criminal is placed in a situation in which he can win but the fight is not worth it. In a way, it is the opposite of what the Tortoise Spirit tells Hank about unwinnable fights be still worth fighting.

Jiapeng Zhao

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