A River in Darkness Setting & Symbolism

Masaji Ishikawa
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North Korea

North Korea is where the majority of the narrative takes place. It is a totalitarian dictatorship established and led by Kim Il-sung (and later by his son Kim Jong-il). The regime is based on a communist/socialist model of alleged egalitarianism but in reality, it is a highly stratified and hierarchical society wherein the majority of the population is forced to live in abject poverty. North Korea is a police state where personal freedoms of all kinds, including freedom of thought, are extremely limited. The population is indoctrinated and brainwashed from a young age, thus further solidifying the dictatorship's hold on power. The North Korea described by Ishikawa is a barren landscape where people live in shacks without running water or electricity, though some people with party connections and access to hard currency to have access to luxuries. However, for the majority of the population, life...

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This section contains 1,390 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A River in Darkness Study Guide
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