Essay on How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

1057 Words Mar 17th, 2008 5 Pages
How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed, written by Croatian author Slavenka Drakulic, details the daily lives of people living under communist rule. She recalls a multitude of personal experiences she has had growing up under a communist regime, and the transition from communism to democracy in the late 1980's. Drakulic seems to have a general dislike for the way the communist government treats its people, and strives to relate these feelings to the reader. She opens her book with a passage about a friend of hers who killed herself by asphyxiating on gas fumes from her oven. Shortly before that she had written an article comparing the ideology of the communist state to that of a pinball machine, "Her article, naïve as it seems today, …show more content…
On one of Drakulic's visits to the United States, she saw many homeless people, and could not get used to the fact that there were so many homeless people in New York. She explains this inability to forget about all these homeless people, "Like a third, spiritual eye placed in the middle of one's forehead, this eye scans only a certain type of phenomenon; it is selective for injustice." (Drakulic 119) It is not hard for people who lived under communist rule to pick out injustices just walking down the street, considering how long they have lived with the injustices in their respective countries. Drakulic lets it be known that no matter what form of government is in place, or whatever new culture they are a part of, the iron curtain if communism will always be with them, "The iron curtains will stay with us for a long time: in our memories, in our lives we cannot renounce, no matter how difficult they were and how hard we try." (Drakulic 122)
Growing up in the United States after the end of the cold war, the only way I experienced communism was learning about it in school. When I first learned about it, it seemed like it had a lot of appealing qualities including equality for everyone and no unemployment. But as I grew older, I saw behind the facade of the communist ideology and learned of how the citizens of communist countries had been impoverished and degraded. Whenever I thought of communism I thought of people standing in long lines

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