Defiance in the Shadows: Flames of Resilience in the Selected North Korean Memoirs

Keziah Priyanka F, Sharon J


The resilient autobiography focuses on the interpersonal dynamics of life narratives, including the relationships that have exacerbated the hardships described and the ones that have provided the support and strength necessary to overcome them. The selected text for this paper is A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea by Eunsun Kim and Sebastien Falletti and In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park and Maryanne Vollers. These two texts talk about their catastrophic journey from North Korea because of poverty caused by famine and their migration to China, where they were trafficked and subjected to humiliation and their final escape to South Korea. The memoirs depict the individual’s embodiment of resilience as they narrate their own struggles and victories in overcoming hardship. Resistance to adversity and suffering, as well as the ability to bounce back from painful experiences in one’s own life and in the lives of others, are the hallmarks of resilience. Trauma becomes ingrained in attempts for survival in both memoirs, which illustrate the catastrophic impacts of famine, relocation, and personal loss. One effective approach to enhance resilience is reorganizing and reestablishing control over one's life after a traumatic event. Interpretations and writings of the personal narrative are offered from both the subject’s and an outsider’s points of view. Thus, the life story is formed in a dual sense: autobiographically and biographically.

Full Text:



World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: