Personal Response

In the story “To live” one of the ideas that seem to come out is the issue of hunger and starvation. The people in South Korea are starving but not the kind of desire that most of us are used to. Perhaps it is common to miss some meal because one is busy, but this is not the case for the people living in S. Korea. It is evident that the people in Korea are deprived of information that the author seems to make it look like such a huge thing. In reading the book, one might seem to get surprised by the problem that the people of this country are facing. One of the things that I felt strongly about this text is the idea that people in this country are not only aware of what is happening in the world, but they just do not know their rights. It is surprising that even watching a film such as Titanic in S. Korea is such a criminal offense. I now tend to understand the reason that the author seems to paint the picture of a people who are starved of information. She looks to paint the view that a simple movie such as Titanic might lead to a revolution as the administration thinks. It is the level of insanity in the leadership of this country that makes the issue to seem just surprising. The problem seems such a huge surprise because, in places such as America, it is a right to get information. Besides, no one would control the amount of information that one consumes. However, in North Korea, it is thought that any information that one consumes the government does not sanction that might constitute a revolution. I think this is such absurd for the Korean leadership. Previously, I had some idea about the problem that the country is facing, but I did not have a sense that it was such a huge problem. It might be one thing to control information that people consume, but not at these level. The text seems to shed light on the privileges that some of us have in this part of the world. While here we have rights and privileges in some other places right are not just a privilege, but they do not even exist. It is then essential to appreciate what we have in our country.

I am surprised at some of the aspects that the author is trying to bring out. He talks about the issue of finding the reason for living. He mentions that one’s a person finds the purpose for life then they might be ready to face any challenges that they face. He speaks of people that experienced the Holocaust and how they were able to endure through this period. He mentions that some of the reasons were love, work, and dignity in suffering. Therefore it is possible that some people only give up in life since they do not have a purpose that drives them towards living. Finding a goal is the ultimate reason for facing any challenges. I strongly feel that meaning in life can force one to face life despite the challenges that come along the way. In his narration, Frankl endured the horrors of the camps, and the question is how was he able to survive where others fail. So Frankl shows the power of getting a purpose in any situation that one is in. These issues are important since I have seen how other challenging it can be to survive during hard times. It might be easy to imagine war, but most of us have never experienced a severe war. Perhaps the closest we experience was 9/11. Therefore, it seems that the Holocaust was such a hard time that one had to look for something that might make them persevere. I have only gone through a few hard times, and they often make me feel depressed almost giving up. But imagining the situation that Frankl went through I know the reason to appreciate some of the things that were privileged to. About some of the conditions around us, I think that the book speaks much about how we should seek to find a purpose in life. Life might be cruel, but it is essential to have some belief in the value of life and reason for living.

The two texts seem to highlight the aspect of the challenges that people face under some leadership. While in North Korea, people are trying to survive the Horror of the president, during the Holocaust it was a serious war. For one to survive in this entire circumstance, one needs to have some self-belief and hope for the best. Hope is the one thing that can help to face all the challenges.

The authors of these books were all focused on the idea of people valuing the chances and opportunities that they have. While all seems right in the places that we are living in, other areas offer no hope, and one has to struggle to find the reason to live. While here we have the chance to pursue our goals and even chase the dreams in life this is not the case in North Korea or during the Holocaust. The author thus targets the people that seem to lose hope for simple things and focus on seeing life for the good things that it can offer. The author thus helps one to start being positive about life and always try to have hope even in a difficult circumstance.



Frankl, V. E. (1985). Man’s search for meaning. Simon and Schuster.

Park, Y., & Vollers, M. (2016). To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom. Penguin.

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