I Am Evolving From Being An Animal

1771 Words Nov 9th, 2015 8 Pages
“I am evolving from being an animal, ' Shin said. 'But it is going very, very slowly. Sometime I try to cry and laugh like other people, just to see if it feels like anything. Yet tears don 't come. Laughter doesn 't come.” Tears, laughter, this all comes easy to most of the world, but it is much more complex than that for North Korean escapee, Shin Dong-Hyuk. After living in a prison camp for his entire life, it is no wonder how tears and laughter would be difficult to manage. Both Shin’s past and the environment of places like Camp 14 play a significant role in who he is today. Understanding the struggle to assimilate after escaping hell on earth and how all of these events have affected Shin and his mental health is crucial. To fully understand why Shin cannot yet reach freedom from his terrible past, it is necessary comprehend Shin’s past living in Camp 14. Because of this oppressive past, both the the struggle to adapt and the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder and paranoid personality disorder make it difficult to find peace with himself and his past. Shin’s past begins before he is even born. “Soon after the Korean War, Kim Il Sung, North Korean dictator and “Great Leader” from 1948 until his death in 1994 and father of Kim Jong Il, executed a number of Korean revolutionaries, establishing a zero-tolerance for dissent.” (North Korea Now). Similarly, several gulags, or prison camps, were created by the dictator for propaganda and punishment. Before Shin was…

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