Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

by

Eleanor Coerr

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
June comes, and so does the rainy season. As the room grows humid and musty, Sadako becomes pale and listless. Only her parents and Masahiro are allowed to visit her, though her class at school sends her a traditional wooden kokeshi doll to cheer her up. Mrs. Sasaki is worried that Sadako is not eating enough, and so one night she surprises her daughter with a bundle full of all of Sadako’s favorite foods. Sadako’s swollen gums hurt so badly, though, that she cannot chew. Sadako pushes the food away, apologizing for not being able to eat—she knows that her family does not have extra money for such expensive food. Mrs. Sasaki comforts Sadako, and the two hope together that when the sun comes out again Sadako will be feeling better.
Sadako’s illness is getting worse and worse, and even the comforts sent to her by those who love her do not make her feel any better. Her classmates send her a beautiful traditional doll, but it does not ease her pain or her fear, and when her mother spends money on fine foods, hoping that Sadako will enjoy them and eat them with more gusto than she has the hospital food, Sadako can only berate herself for inspiring her parents to waste their hard-earned money. Nevertheless, Sadako’s family and friends hope to inspire the sunny optimism that once defined Sadako, and bring back the old her. The traits in Sadako that her mother used to sometimes criticize, she now wishes she could renew.
Themes
Hope, Strength, and Perseverance Theme Icon
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Masahiro arrives and regales Sadako with stories from school. He presents her with a present from Eiji—a crumpled piece of silver paper to be used to build a crane. Sadako smells the paper and finds that it is a chocolate wrapper—she and her brother hope aloud that the gods like chocolate, and the two of them laugh. It is the first time Sadako has laughed in a long time, and she hopes that it means that the golden crane’s magic is beginning to work. Sadako folds Eiji’s paper into a crane, but is too tired to make any more, and she falls asleep as her mother whispers a poem into her ear, asking a flock of heavenly cranes to cover Sadako with their wings. 
Sadako’s siblings try to lift her spirits, too, and Eiji’s gift of a chocolate wrapper makes Sadako feel joy and hope for the first time in a while. Again, constructing the cranes—though sometimes an overwhelming feat for the weak and fatigued Sadako—are really the only things that bring her hope and inspiration anymore, and Sadako’s faith in the cranes’ power has begun to extend to her family, as well, as evidenced by Eiji’s involvement and her mother’s bedtime prayer to the crane gods who supposedly have the power to restore Sadako’s health.
Themes
History, Family, and Tradition Theme Icon
Hope, Strength, and Perseverance Theme Icon
Related Quotes