Objects & Places from The Girl With Seven Names

Lee, Hyeonseo
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Boots

These objects, worn by the author in North Korea, symbolize the danger inherent in individualism in a tightly-controlled society.

Portraits

These objects represent allegiance to the political leaders of North Korea.

Train

This object, associated with a near-death experience in the author's childhood, represents luck winning out over danger and foreshadows the author's many near-scrapes that she would encounter in her life.

Yalu River

This symbol represents the divide between the culture of North Korea and the culture of China, and is near where the author lived just before her defection.

Doll

This object symbolizes the author's love for her adoptive father and his love for her.

Chinese Coat

This object symbolizes the many masks necessary for the author to remain safe once she has left North Korea.

Gulag

This symbol represents the fears underlying the North Koreans' complicity with the totalitarian rule of the government.

Dragonfly

(read more Symbols/Objects)

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