Literature is most successful when it is dealing with the big issues of the world.

Barbra Demicks’ profound novel ‘Nothing to Envy’ gives readers shocking insight into the issues of the world today and how we have not learned from our past. Nothing to Envy is a prime example of how successful literature occurs when the author considers and deals with the big issues occurring in the world. In a post war world, this provocative novel reminds us that not all have freedom, in fact, one developed country “has fallen out of the developed world.” The presence of dictatorship in North Korea has left the country behind and its citizens oblivious to the real world around them. The Kim Dynasty uses propaganda and control of the media, corporate slavery and rewrites history to keep their citizens from knowing the truth and fighting back.


  • Paragraph 1: propaganda and control of the media.
  • -Oak Hee saying slogans over the microphone
  • -Kim Il-sung rooms
  • -limited movies and books
  • -posters everywhere
  • -brought up singing nothing to envy
  • -“the American Basterds”
  • -Kim Jong-Un, as well as his family members that led the country before him, worked very hard to create an image of God like proportions about themselves by controlling the information that their citizens have about them, and using their own selected media to sway the people’s thoughts and opinions.-
  • -controlling the public mind has been a lead objective of key leaders
  • -war posters lies about other countries’ statuses outside of the DPRK, and controlled elections of government officials.
  • – North Koreans cannot travel overseas freely, cannot read newspapers and magazines from foreign countries, and cannot listen to foreign broadcasts. The Internet, a symbol of our information age, is banned in North Korea as well.
  • -This isolation, closely resembling the famous Orwellian dystopia of 1984, looks somewhat bizarre, but it is actually easy to understand.
  • -caused trees to bloom and snow to melt”. In the face of such indoctrination,
  • Paragraph 2: Corporate Slavery
  • Paragraph 3: Rewrites History.
  • -not be able to see the official newspapers (such as, say, Rodong Sinmun) published in the 1970s and 1980s – unless you have a proper security clearance, of course. Most books, published before the early 1990s, are also kept under strict control, in the special sections of larger libraries where only trusted people with formal security clearances are allowed to peruse such texts.
  • -The authorities believe that North Koreans need to know only what their government allows them to know about their country’s past. Of course, this permissible vision of history is only remotely related to what actually happened and can be described as largely an invention of North Korean propagandists.
  • -Let’s take just one example. Had North Koreans been allowed to read official newspapers from the 1950s, then they would know that at the time Kim Il Sung was always presented as merely one of many of North Korea’s leaders. Apart from him, the newspapers mentioned other leaders – like, say, Kim Du-bong, Pak Hon-young or Pak Chang-ok. All of them were eventually purged, after being accused of treason and espionage. However, in the old newspapers, one can see that Kim Il Sung himself praised these people, calling them ‘outstanding revolutionaries’.



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