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    North Korea in “The Orphan Master’s Son”

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    The novel The Orphan Master’s son is a riveting text that leaves the reader constantly on the edge of their seat and keeps them engaged throughout the entire storyline.

    Adam Johnson was able to take the limited information we have about North Korea and form the adventurous, romantic and eye-opening piece of fiction that he’s produced with this novel. In this book, you are able to see how Adam Johnson allowed his imagination to roam and create this array of events that are in many ways unbelievable, yet he has written the events in a way that also makes them seem plausible. He saw the unanswered questions we have about North Korea as an opportunity to fill in the blanks with this crazy narrative. The more you read this book, the more intrigued you become.

    There will not be a moment of boredom nor an ounce of disinterest you will experience. This novel is one that’s worth becoming excited over. This story includes four primary characters- Jun Do(the hero of the story), Commander Ga, Sun-moon(famous actress), and the infamous Kim Jong-il as well as the interrogator for North Korea. The novel starts off by introducing the character Jun Do and describing his upbringing in an orphanage as the master’s son, then goes into his experience in combat. Then, we are told of his imprisonment due to a mission to America that was not very successful.

    Then, in the second portion of this novel, the reader is introduced to the interrogator for North Korea because of the fact that he has Commander Ga in his custody. The actress Sun Moon places him into a small, almost unlivable cell under her house. Later, he ends up living with her and her children. Kim Jong Il sends Jun Do on a new mission because of rising conflict involving Nuclear combat between North Korea and America.

    An American woman has people from the US attempting to free her from North Korea’s custody. Finally, because a crazy plan composed by Jun do, commander Ga ends up jumping out of Sun Moon’s plane, essentially turning into a human missile aimed at an american airplane. Johnson has done a wonderful job of bringing the nightmare that is North Korea, to life for the reader. He shows the corruption within the government system in North Korea as he envisions it being.

    Meanwhile, he creates a love story that leaves the reader rooting for Jun Do. The text stated ,”Jun Do was thinking about all the popular definitions of love, that it was a pair of bare hands clasping an ember to keep it alive, that it was a pearl that shines forever, even in the belly of the eel that eats the oyster, that love was a bear that feed you honey from its claws. Jun Do visualized those girls: alternating in labor and solitude, that moment when the oar-locks were handed off. “.

    This showed the reader the lack of experience Jun Do has with love and his outlook on love, although he hasn’t truly experienced it previously. Adam Johnson made North Korea come alive for the readers in a very unique way. He kept the readers engaged with the love, combat and the interesting characters that make the readers feel like they knew as a kid. It’s definitely a book you won’t be able to put down.

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    North Korea in “The Orphan Master’s Son”. (2022, Feb 21). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/north-korea-in-the-orphan-masters-son-175694/

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