Analysis Of Arn Chorn-Pond In 'Never Fall Down'

Superior Essays
Imagine if a person had been orphaned, forced work hard labour during all waking hours, hearing the sound of people last plea for mercy before they are brutally murdered, to hunt because the food that you are provided are simply not enough. Would lose they lose their will to survive? Would that person compromise their morals? Would they let the situation break them? Luckily, most do not have to answer these questions, but Arn Chorn-Pond in the Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick did.
About 40 years ago, in Cambodia, there was an oppressive regime known as the Khmer Rouge. ‘Oppressive’ is not even a harsh enough word to describe the atrocities they committed. Over 25% of the population of Cambodia died in a four year span. The terror started
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As one could imagine, this enterprise was doomed to fail. Many people died from starvation, illness and exhaustion; however, many also died at the hands of the regime itself if they refused to cooperate. Needless to say, the Khmer Rouge was riddled with mismanagement and corruption at almost every level. In 1979 the regime finally fell to the Vietnamese army, after four years and many lives.
One small boy lived through all this turmoil, he became an acclaimed human-right 's activist, his name was Arn Chorn-Pond and the book Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick centers on his journey as a child. Arn was born in the Cambodian city of Battambang to a family of entertainers and opera owners, however, he lost his father at a young age and so his family fell on hard times, forcing their mother to move to another city to make ends meet. Before the war Arn was a normal child, who sold ice cream in the street. He had no idea how the war would effect his life when he first heard the war planes over his city and followed and watched the loyalist soldiers to their deaths at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. After they had taken over, Arn, his siblings and their aunt were forced on a grueling
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Milgram used unsuspecting volunteers who were asked by 'scientists ' to give subsequently higher shocks to another 'volunteer ' who pretended to be in pain. The dilemma was to see if the volunteer would use their free will and stop hurting the shockee or continuing following the directions of an authority figure. More than half the participants went to the highest shock level. We can see a similar phenomenon in Arn 's life. Arn and many others, followed the orders of Khmer Rouge officials, many times doing things that could be considered unethical. For instance, Arn was given a gun and sent to the Vietnamese. He could have surrendered to the Vietnamese, he could have escaped into the jungle, which he eventually did. The point is during this time many normal people, like Arn, got wrapped with the Khmer Rouge-- the same institution that destroyed their lives. Just like in the Milgram Experiment the volunteers and people like Arn simply followed the instructions of their superiors without regards to those they were effecting. In one situation Arn watched a whole village get killed because his friend and protector, Sambo thought they were 'hiding ' the Vietnamese. Arn did not do anything to convince his Khmer friend, who he held considerable sway over, not to murder these people that he knew were perfectly innocent. Arn simply

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