Orphan Master’s Son

1- What impression of Kim Jong Il is created in the extract?

In the extract Kim Jong II is represented as omniscient and highly revered by the citizens of North Korea. The hyperbolic assertion that “doves were seen to spontaneously flock above him” portrays the idea that Kim Jong II is a god like character, even the animals seem to bow down to his greatness. We see the perspective of how the text was written through how Kim Jong II is introduced as “dear leader”. This shows how the North Koreans look upon Kim Jong II, they see him as a great and powerful master.

2- Write down two pieces of evidence that support your impression.

3- What is your first impression of what life is like inside North Korea?

Dull, restricted, isolated, poor, dark

4- Write down three pieces of evidence that support your impression.

” Citizens, gather round your loud speaker”

“in your kitchens, in your offices, on your factory floors…”

“the ban on stargazing is still in full effect”

North Korea is depicted as, restrictive, poverty stricken and repressive. The usual narrative voice the opens the extract directs the readers to “gather round” their “loudspeakers” which immediately establishing a sense that the state has total control over the movement of the North Korean people.  Moreover, the accumulation in “your kitchens, in your offices, on your factory floors” suggests that the voice of the state is pervasive and finds citizens wherever they might be. When the mysterious voice declares the winner of the cooking contest for “pumpkin rind soup” will soon be announced the reader simmies that the nation must be poor to hold a cooking competition for what would normally be a household scrap.  Finally, the absurd reminder that “the ban on star gazing is till in effect” cements the idea that North Korea wants it citizens to be inward gazing rather that outward looking and considering other ways of life

The accumulation of “your kitchens, in your offices, on your factory floors” shows the audience that the North Korean government is an ongoing factor in your life, and that you cant escape.

5- What do you notice about the language used in this extract?

The langue used in the extract is underpinned by propaganda and bias. Firstly, the use of alliteration in “American aggressors” demonizes America as a destructive superpower contrasts with the positioning of North Korea as “our great nation”. Moreover the extract as a kind of logic that lends its authority and weight. However in closer inspection the logic gives way to absurdity. When the narrator defends the charge of “cruelty to sharks” he provides three reasons why they could not possibly be accused of being cruel to sharks, one of which is that sharks have “cancer preventing powers”. The narrator also uses rhetorical questions to further dismiss the charge in did “Commander Ga…not have a soothing bowl of shark-fin soup before each triumphant taekwando match? Ultimately, the reader is given a pause to stop and consider the fact that the seemingly logical argument is actually flawed because North Koreans are indeed eating shark regularly and therefore not particularly kind to them.

6- Find two language techniques that support your view.

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