How We Survived Communism And Even Laughed Analysis

1234 Words 5 Pages
Communism, a type of government in Eastern Europe at a time, where everyone was poor, became every citizen’s worst nightmare. Drakulić, Slavenka’s, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed (1992), describes the struggle of Eastern European citizens, specifically women in the fight to end communism. Slavenka Drakulić was a Croatian journalist who travelled through various countries such as Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia East Germany, and Bulgaria, spending time with women and listening to their life stories, cooking with them, drinking coffee, and talking with their families. Communism reformed the Easter Europeans mindsets, it deprived them of hope, of knowledge in the Western European countries. Communism, as explained by Drakulić, is …show more content…
“On Friday night she would soak everything in the big metal washing tub. On Saturday morning, she would scrub it, bent over the rim, using a wooden washboard. Then she would put it on the stove and boil it for a while….. On Sunday evenings she would iron the whole pile of perfectly white clothes…” This was the ritual, hanging clothes outside to dry with the fresh air making them smell wonderful. Western culture was used to washing machines and people thought of hand washing clothes an ancient art. Slavenka Drakulić stated even if the average family had enough money, they were more likely to buy a color television than a washing machine. The citizens in Eastern Europe did not have a choice to wash without machines. The western ideas could not reach Eastern Europe fast enough, the lack of it made it hard for the citizens to understand what was going on, on the outside. Even when they did reach, they were not always accepted, in this book it shows how everyone could not voice their own opinion, especially …show more content…
She learned how to survive, and primarily make things last. She had to adjust, and teacher her was her mom and grandmother. “’Besides, how do you think we survived communism?’ Yes- how did we? Certainly not by throwing away useful things.” Useful things in the United States and useful things in communist Europe are two vastly different things. Slavenka was taught to eat everything on her plate, while in America people throw their leftovers away. During communism people recycled and not necessarily in the ecological sense, they reused things ordinarily thrown away by the average westerner, and these citizens were not given the choice to recycle. They had to do it to survive because of the constant shortages. Drakulić explains how nothing was wasted from panty hose to shoe boxes to jars. Panty hose could be used as trash bag ties, shoe boxes to store important documents, and jars for ash trays. Families relied on their neighbors to become self-sufficient. People borrowed from one another and everyone knew they were not the only ones living in these hard times, especially Slavenka Drakulić. Slavenka wanted to show the world what communism was actually

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