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Reflective Responses:Belli,Giaconda:The Country Under My Skin VS. Drakulic,Slavenka:How We Survived at Communism and Even Laughed - Essay Example

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Gioconda Belli from Nicaragua, Africa and Slavenka Drakulic from erstwhile Yugoslavia, Europe are contemporary women writers and social activists who had been active witness of totalitarianism regimes somewhat different in ideologies…
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Reflective Responses:Belli,Giaconda:The Country Under My Skin VS. Drakulic,Slavenka:How We Survived at Communism and Even Laughed
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Download file to see previous pages Gioconda Belli from Nicaragua, Africa and Slavenka Drakulic from erstwhile Yugoslavia, Europe are contemporary women writers and social activists who had been active witness of totalitarianism regimes somewhat different in ideologies: Nicaragua had a right wing dynastic rule from 1936 till 1979 while Yugoslavia under left wing was under communists from 1946 till 1991. In this study, an analysis of observation of two writers regarding their role and experiences under dictatorship will be made keeping in context the book The Country under My Skin: A Memoir of Love written by Belli and How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed written by Drakulic. Gioconda Belli in her work narrates her experience as what it meant for her growing in an upper-class Nicaraguan family that was not approving of the Somoza totalitarianism, but never imagined that their daughter (roughly aged 20) would sign up with the secretive Sandinistas as she continue her day job at a celebrated public relations agency. Anastasio Somoza Garcia imposed a dynastic rule in Nicaragua in 1937. Belli had been a witness to masses of people celebrating end of 45-year dictatorship with the fall of Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979. Author Slavenka Drakulic in her book ‘How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed’ recollects that living under a communist rule was not at all a pleasant experience. Drakulic demonstrates how communism has misled its citizens, its mentors, and itself. As evidence, Drakulic cites that 45 years of communist rule in Yugoslavia fell short of producing suitable apartments or providing affordable telephone lines for its citizens, sanitary items for women, or dolls for growing kids (Drakulic 1, 6,99,31,56). Belli mourns how years of dictatorship in Nicaragua has deprived its people of basic necessities despite hard word: “Passing by the exclusive shops where a dining room table costs more than one person in Nicaragua earns in an entire lifetime of hard labor under the hot sun” (Belli 366). According to Drakulic, what unified lifestyle of ordinary people in communist countries in Eastern Europe was suffering:  ‘the shortages’, ‘the distinctive odors’, ‘the shabby clothing’. Drakulic writes whether it was Yugoslavia, her home country, or Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, or Bulgaria, all had all ‘long suffered’ under the ‘same ideology.’ These countries were under communist rule since the end of World War II (Drakulic XIV). Drakulic recounts how under communist regime they were brainwashed not to expect change. “That is how you are trained in this part of the world, not to believe that change is possible.” (Drakulic, xiii) Drakulic reminiscences they could not believe when they were first told that thousands of East Germans were crossing borders. Belli cites democracy as a system under which people can really forge their destinies. Sandinistas, under which Belli fought her campaign to restore democracy in Nicaragua, put forward a particular philosophy that was, according to author, a blend of ‘New Left socialism’, ‘cooperativism’, and ‘popular democracy.’ Somoza’s dynastic regime ended in 1979. Sandinistas never really implemented democracy in a way Belli perhaps had visualized for. Steps such as censor of press amidst alleged US interference led Belli to a comment that restore of a democracy after years of dictatorship cannot be compared with democracy practiced in US. According to Belli, still every day in Nicaragua, more than two hundred million people are trying to find meaning to their lives. Belli recognizes that any model of society must be based on absolute respect for individual freedom, that this alienable right is the foundation of the large and small joys of any people (Belli 44, 323, 368). Drakulic composes her work, looking back to June 1991, the month when provinces of Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from the rest of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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