Nothing And Envy By Barbara Demick

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Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick provides insight into the lives of North Korean defectors while in North Korea. Their accounts give inside information about the North Korean regime which makes it possible to analyze to what extent society was an egalitarian utopia. The interview reveals that people were discriminated by social class as evident by those who were richer, and thus in a higher social strata, having more opportunities for success. There was also economic inequity which was apparent by people having different degrees of struggle. However, the problems North Koreans faced was similar, which showed there was some equality from their struggles. Overall, the interviewees give accounts which contradict the idea that the North Korean regime was promoting egalitarianism through their accounts which give counterexamples regarding social class and economic status, so their claim of egalitarianism is mostly false. Jun-sang was one of the interviewed defectors and was the son of two relatively wealthy Japanese parents, which leads to an issue of equality in terms of class. In an attempt for North Korea to be the “true” Korea, they tried to remove any foreign influence. As a result, there was a lot of hatred against Japanese collaborators. Japanese Koreans that were prominent in society were purged, which perhaps meant being sent to the gulag (Demick 35). As a result, Jun-sang’s family is already at a disadvantage socially as they are forced to remain in the lower class to

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