Essay on Nothing to Envy Book Review

3033 Words May 27th, 2011 13 Pages
Nothing to Envy 2/15/11

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Koreans who have experienced a great deal of hardship and turmoil living under one of the most notorious communist regimes. Throughout the years these North Koreans lived through the death of their great Kim Il-Sung, the rise to power of his successor Kim Jong-Il, and the horrific famine that has left many in despair. Although North Korea is constantly in the news globally it is surprising to realize little is known about the country itself. Communist dictatorship has shut out the North part of the Korean peninsula from the outside world and has ruled with an iron fist. In the years following WWII Kim Il-Sung and
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Not knowing whether she should tell Jun-sang or not about her decision to defect proved difficult. She didn’t want to leave him in the dark, but also did not want him interfering with her plans. She crossed the Tumen River with her family and never looked back. They were able to phone the distant relatives, who at first were skeptical. After obtaining illegal passports they made their way into South Korea. When they arrived in South Korea they could then tell authorities the truth and receive amnesty. The laws there state that a North Korean may obtain citizenship in South Korea as long as you arrived there on your own volition. At first Mi-ran was amazed by everything they were missing while living in North Korea, it was as if South Koreans were traveling from the past into the future. The way they dressed, spoke, as well as their mannerism were that of people from decades earlier. She soon came to realize her life as good as it was came with a price. She heard rumors of her sisters back home being taken in the middle of the night and assumed they were brought to labor camps. In the late 90’s more than ever, families of those defected received harsh punishment to be made examples of. Mi-ran decided to go back to school and while completing her graduate degree was married and having her first child. She had assimilated fairly well into society because of her younger age and willingness

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