Book Summary: In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park Book Cover

In Order to Live is a memoir written by Yeonmi Park, a young woman who escaped from North Korea and now lives in South Korea. The book chronicles her life in North Korea, where she faced extreme poverty, starvation, and brutal oppression at the hands of the government. It also details her harrowing journey to escape North Korea and her new life in South Korea.

Chapter 1: Growing Up in North Korea

In this chapter, Yeonmi Park describes her childhood in North Korea. She was born into a family that was considered “loyal” to the government, which meant that they had access to better food and resources than most other North Koreans. However, even though her family was considered privileged, they still struggled to survive. Park describes how her family would often go hungry and how they would have to hide their food from government officials who would occasionally come to their home to check for any signs of dissent.

Chapter 2: Life in North Korea

In this chapter, Park provides a detailed account of what life is like for ordinary people in North Korea. She describes how the government controls every aspect of people’s lives, from what they can say and think to where they can travel and what they can wear. She also describes how the government uses propaganda to control the population and how people are taught to hate South Korea and the United States.

Chapter 3: Escape from North Korea

In this chapter, Park describes her decision to escape from North Korea and the dangerous journey that she and her mother took to reach the Chinese border. They faced many obstacles along the way, including harsh weather, hunger, and dangerous smugglers. Eventually, they made it to China, but they were not safe yet. They had to continue to travel to reach South Korea.

Chapter 4: Life in South Korea

In this chapter, Park describes her new life in South Korea. She struggled to adjust to her new surroundings and to leave behind the trauma of her past. She also describes how she became an activist for human rights and how she has worked to raise awareness about the situation in North Korea.

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Conclusion: A Call to Action

In the conclusion of her book, Park calls on readers to take action to help the people of North Korea. She urges governments and organizations to do more to help the millions of people who are suffering in North Korea. She also encourages individuals to educate themselves about the situation in North Korea and to speak out against the human rights abuses that are taking place there.

Overall, In Order to Live is a powerful and moving memoir that provides a rare glimpse into life in North Korea. Park’s story is both heartbreaking and inspiring, and it serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up for human rights and freedom.

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