A River in Darkness - Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Masaji Ishikawa
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Summary

On July 8, 1994, the Great Leader Kim Il-sung passes away. People erupt into hysterics and Ishikawa can't understand why he finds himself in tears. He and his family wonder what will happen to them all now. Kim Jong-il takes power, but people complain about him and blame him "for the deteriorating food situation" (121). Extremely cold weather throughout the early 1990s has made the food situation even worse. As rations dwindle, propaganda increases. After the death of Kim Il-sung, farming, industry, and production all grounds to a halt, making things worse yet again. Starvation is rampant; Ishikawa and his family desperately try to survive by foraging plants. Family bonds keep them together, though by 1995, they are "truly terrified that [they] might die of hunger" (125). That summer, a flood hit an agricultural area, ending their grain ration, such as it was. They survive the winter on acorns...

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This section contains 1,473 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A River in Darkness Study Guide
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