The introduction of Tree-ear in the story paints the picture of an unfortunate boy who was left by his parents to the care of the monks. Desperate to find someone who will take care of the young boy, they brought him to Ch'ulp'o where a lame named Crane-man kindly accepted him. All his life, Tree-ear lived in dire poverty under the bridge with the compassionate Crane-man who instilled in him moral excellence amidst their hard situation. Thus, Tree-ear grew without stealing or begging for food and other basic needs but instead he uses his abilities in order to survive. Throughout the story, the humor of Crane-man enhances the story through passages which enlivens the reader amidst the horrifying situations faced by the two main characters.
Tree-ear's love for pottery has been sparked through his admiration for the master potter named Min. The ambition of the boy to become a potter seemed to be an unreachable dream for someone like him recognizing the social mobility in Korea during that time is impossible. Being just a poor orphan, he was expected to become a slave and labor worker without acquiring any skill to boast of. However, he still hid behind one of the master potter's houses in the village in order to watch how Min skillfully turn the potter's wheel and make intricately designed pots and vases. ...Show more