Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang: A Journey To North Korea Free Writing Sample

Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang: A Journey to North Korea. Denouncing the Totalitarian Regime

Pyongyang: A Journey to North Korea is a graphic text of Guy Delisle’s trip to North Korea. Delisle records the striking instances of totalitarian regime and lack of freedom through the interplay between word and image which uncannily work to destabilize what in North Korea appears as standard. This idea is also reinforced by the author’s foregrounded self-reflexivity, constantly commenting on the differences between his country which epitomizes the Western world and North Korea. This paper will argue that Delisle’s Pyongyang: A Journey to North Korea is typical of the “outlaw” writing due to the author’s quirky undermining of the North Korean regime and to his laying bare of the absurd and inhuman dimensions of North-Korean dictatorship.

In Delisle’s text, Pyongyang becomes the incarnation of the absolutist city, which, in its perfect cleanliness and ultra-septic environment – “it’s got those good old standard rooms – cold and impersonal, just like they like them in Asia” (Pyongyang: A Journey to North Korea, p. 9) – seems to become the antipode of life and individuality. Delisle’s translator takes him on countless tours whose main purpose is the glorification of Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founder who seems eerily present although he has long passed away: “who, despite his death (1912-1994), is still president” (p. 7). The grandeur of the statue representing Kim Il Sung appears in inhuman disproportion with the people coming to visit his monument, the founder’s gigantesque proportions appearing to crush the diminutive human figure.

The portraits of the Kims are omnipresent, they appear in all the rooms the narrator visits, appearing wider at the top than at the bottom, which hints to the idealized and “larger-than-life” impression they have made on the city’s inhabitants. They are the replicas, or North-Korean versions of the “Big Brother”, of the constantly watching eye in the novel 1984 which Delisle significantly carries with him as he enters the country.

The topos of light vs. darkness is present in Delisle’s text and it metonymically represents the absence of freedom. At night, the author notes, no lights are allowed. However, at one time a light bulb suddenly lights up in his room even if all the other rooms in the building appear to be in the dark. The lights that Delisle describes have nothing in common with natural light or practical purposes: they suggest the presence of an ever-watching eye, of a permanent “light on” which seem to blind men and render them unaware of the game of power and ideology behind the grandiose spectacle of the city.

Ultimately, the author reveals the absurd and nonsense behind the innumerable rules as he lists the travel rules to North Korea.

HYGIENE. Bring your own medication. Do not drink the tap water. TRAVEL.All travel must be by studio vehicle, in the company of an interpreter and/or guide.No vehicles on Sundays.Only NGOs have unrestricted access to vehicles and travel. ALLOWED.Audio cassettes. CD player and CDs. Portable computer and printer. Cameras and film, camcorder. Not everything can be photographed. Food: mustard, ketchup, etc. Books to give to interpreter at the end of the trip. PROHIBITED. Mobile phone (confiscated at airport and returned on departure). Pornography. (pp. 4-7)

After this patient but ironic litany of “musts” and “must nots” the author, as he travels in a van, considers the absurdity of smoking in an air-conditioned car. Throughout the text, Delisle’s tone is half playful and half bitterly condescending as he, aware of his incapacity to act in any way upon the inhuman Pyongyang regime, can only “take it for a (three-months) ride. Even if he admits to not being aware of the whole gamut of problems of Pyongyang, the author is at the same time very acute in targeting those symbols of totalitarian power.

Works Cited:

Delisle, Guy. Pyongyang: A Journey to North Korea., 06.02.2007.

Evolution From A Shame Culture To A Guilt Culture In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

            In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the unknown author writes an Arthurian Romance about Sir Gawain, nephew of King Arthur and a knight of the round table. On the surface this appears to be a typical chivalric tale where Sir Gawain goes on a quest to find the Green Knight and fulfill his pledge; after having met foes and having adventures Sir Gawain returns to court and resumes his previous life. The ending of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight seems to suggest, or perhaps demand a deeper analysis. On a deeper level the text provides an account of the transition from a world of strict law, where a man is judged by his strength and accomplishments compared to an absolute law, to a gentler world where forgiveness plays an important role in a man’s salvation. (Bullfinch 414).

The story begins at a Christmas banquet held at Camelot. Sir Gawain clearly holds a highly regarded position as he sits at the head with Guenever beside him table and is called “good Gawain” (Sir Gawain 9) The Green Knight tries to shame Arthur into participating in his contest. King Arthur agrees, but Sir Gawain intervenes between King Arthur and the Green Knight and accepts the challenge (Sir Gawain 23). Sir Gawain is modest, loyal, and brave. He is honest and keeps his promises, evidenced by his setting out to find the Green Knight shortly after All Saints’ Day. The author tells us Sir Gawain is “faithful in five things always, and in five ways. Sir Gawain was known as a good knight and as gold purified”  (Sir Gawain 27, 39, 45). By all appearances Sir Gawain has worked hard to be a good person and always behaves accordingly. In fact it is because of his behaviors that he is found faultless. His station is based solely on what he, Sir Gawain has done.

Sir Gawain begins his quest and rides northward to North Wales. He has been unable to find the Green Knight; no one he asks has heard of the Green Knight or the Green Castle. He encounters and defeats dragons, wolves, bulls, and wild boars. Throughout these adventures he succeeds using his own skills of strength, bravery, and his skill with weapons. On Christmas Day Sir Gawain out of desperation prays to God to help him find a place where he might attend mass. Immediately he sees a large castle in front of him. There he is received and treated well. The host tells him that he need not search any longer and that he will easily find the Green Chapel on the appointed day. Sir Gawain promises he will “do whatever else you (the host) may ask. (Sir Gawain 49-63, 75).

Here Sir Gawain faces the first challenge of his quest that tests something other than his physical abilities. He faces a challenge to his character. The host makes an agreement with Sir Gawain that he and his men will go hunting every day. When they return they will exchange what they have gathered for what Sir Gawain has gathered staying in the castle. Each morning for the next three days the host’s wife tries to seduce him. On the first day she gives him a kiss; on the second day she gives two kisses; on the last she gives him three kisses and a belt or a girdle that will protect whoever wears it. Each night Sir Gawain dutifully gives his host what he was squired: one kiss the first day, two kisses the second day, and three kisses the third day. However Sir Gawain withholds the belt, presumably to protect himself in his upcoming altercation with the Green Knight (Sir Gawain 75-135). Sir Gawain has given way to temptation and not kept his pledge to the host. It is noteworthy that Sir Gawain suffered three temptations just as Jesus is claimed to have experienced in Matthew 4:1-11. Unlike Jesus, Sir Gawain fails the test and succumbs to the temptation to protect his life.

One New Year’s Day Sir Gawain leaves the castle with the lady’s belt. As he prepares to leave on of the knights suggests that Sir Gawain leave by an alternative route and he swears to “never tell anyone/That you ever fled for fear” (Sir Gawain 145). To his credit Sir Gawain refuses and sets forward to complete his quest. He appears before the Green Knight to honorably honor his promise. The Green Knight swings once and Sir Gawain flinches. This was technically a default of the contract that demanded he not react or flinch. The Green Knight feints a stroke that Sir Gawain does not flinch at. On the third stroke the Green Knight aims a blow that “barely broke the skin.” (Sir Gawain 157). It is revealed to the reader that the Green Knight and his host at the castle are one and the same. The Green Knight reveals that he has planned his wife’s attempts at seduction. He states that although Sir Gawain failed to keep faith “[t]hough not from treachery, nor my wife’s wooing either,/But for love of your life, and I blame you less for that” (Sir Gawain 161). Sir Gawain confesses that he has broken faith and throws the belt toward the Green Knight. Whereupon the Green Knight says, “I am thoroughly healed of any harm I suffered. You have confessed so completely . . . suffered your penance, and purged as clean” (Sir Gawain 163). The Green Knight reveals that his name is Bercilak and that he has acted under orders of Morgan le Faye who wanted to “deprive [Sir Gawain] of his wits/And to grieve Guenever and frighten her to death” (Sir Gawain 167).

Bercilak consoles Sir Gawain by relating the story of Adams’ fall due to a woman, Solomon “by several of them,” Samson and King David (Sir Gawain 163-165). He tells Sir Gawain that each of these men of God had erred because of a woman yet that didn’t affect their being a man of God. By forgiving Sir Gawain for his fault, Bercilak offers Sir Gawain reconciliation and forgiveness that does not depend on Sir Gawain’s efforts. Ironically this change from a shame culture to a guilt culture was the result of the evil and magic of Morgan le Faye, a woman.

When Green Knight forgives Sir Gawain he puts the belt back on and swears that he will wear the belt forever to remind him of his mistake and the fact that he is imperfect, but forgiven. Sir Gawain returns to Camelot where he confesses his wrongdoing before Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

This change in Sir Gawain symbolizes the change in the attitudes toward forgiveness from mankind has believed in. In the Old Testament where the law is strict people sough forgiveness by their own efforts by performing rituals and sacrifices. With the advent of the Christian Church the focus was to change. The Church proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God and had died so mankind no longer had to earn its salvation, but rather should admit errors and ask forgiveness. Salvation was not obtained by behaving in a spotless way such as Sir Gawain in the first part of the text, but by the genuinely humbled Sir Gawain at the end.

Works Cited

Bullfinch, Thomas. The Age of Fable; The Age of Chivalry; Legends of Charlemagne. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1913.

Putter, Ad W. (ed.) An Introduction to the Gawain-Poet. London: Longman. 1996

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translation. Trans. W.S. Merwin. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan, 1996.

Travel And Tourism

      I.            Introduction

Environment becomes more and more important all over the world these few years. People try to save environment from many ways. It is because people can see or feel the impact of the environmental changes. For example, global warming, climate changes, ice melting in North and South Pole that causes sea level increasing. People starts afraid about the impacts that are hard to imagine and will affect their life.

As tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. We may take a look of the changes and trends that bring by the going green in this industry. Tourism industry need changes as it will save cost in long term, customers prefer travel in a way that is more “green”. In this report, we are going to talk about the impact to the environment by tourism industry, some examples of trends and managerial implications in environmental concerns. Especially what hotel, cruise ship, airline and government do to protect the environment.

   II.            Impact to the environment by tourism industry

We are going to focus on 3 types of industries and government’s policies in tourism industry that cause most of the pollutions. Firstly, in hotel industry they may waste a lot of light energy, the establishment would keep the light 24 hours on to keep the property look nice, guests would switch on the television when they are sleeping. Electricity are wasting all the times. And also, solid waste and water waste are the problems as well.

Secondly, in cruise ship industry, they create a lot of pollution including air, solid and water. As they are sailing in the sea, the sewage maybe a huge problem, as some of them are toxic and affect the life of sea animals.

Thirdly, in airline industry, they are one of the least-pollution forms of travel in the world. But the rapid growth of air travel increase the tourist travel by air, so it becomes more and more important to reduce the pollution level of flight. The main pollution they create is the greenhouse gases. The airline industry is responsible for about 11% of greenhouse gases emitted by the U.S. transportation sector.

More detailed explanations and relative examples regarding the trends and managerial implications would be discussed below.

III.            Examples and explains of trends and managerial implications

a.     Cruise ship

In cruise ship industry, the 3 main pollutions are air, solid and water. Air pollution is generated by diesel engines that burn high sulfur content fuel, producing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate. And also burn large volumes of garbage, plastics and other waste that producing a lot of ash that pollute the air as well. The air pollution created by cruise ship in port for one day equal to 12,300 cars operating for same period.

Solid waste generated on a ship includes glass, paper, cardboard, aluminum and steel cans and plastics. A one-week cruise may generate about 8 tons of solid wastes. It has been estimated that 24% of the solid waste generated worldwide comes from cruise ships.

Water pollutions are very serious also; the cruise line industry dumps 255,000 gallons of gray water and 20,000 gallons of black water into the sea every day. Black water is sewage, waste water from toilets and medical facilities which can contain harmful bacteria. Gray water is waste water from the sinks, showers, galleys, laundry and cleaning activities aboard a ship.

Nowadays, one of the major trends in cruise line industry is going green. As they know, they need to save the environment, and attract more customers in new generation, who are more educated, they know that save the environment are necessary and will chose cruise line that are more “green” than the other, or even join some green tour. Other than that, they can also save cost in long term. If they change some new ship that may save energy and using fuel that are environmental-friendly, and the government may impose heavy taxes in the future for pollution.

There are nine major cruise lines that sail to Alaska that meet and follow the regulations from 2006. They had start the onboard recycling programs and wastewater management programs that are higher than required standards and also using low-sulfur fuel in order to reduce emissions. Following are some initiatives by different big company:

Holland America Line and Princess Cruises have equipped their ships with very large extension cords. So that they can turn off generators and use shore power while in port. It can save lots of energy while in port and reduce emissions that create air pollutions.

Carnival Cruises using new technology for all ships that process used cooking oils and burn them as alternative fuel in order to save more energy. It is kind of recycling that using used good for fuel.

Celebrity Cruises equips new ships with LED lighting and solar panels that cut the amount of power they generate with diesel fuel by up to 25%. Although LED lighting and solar panels are expensive, but it is really a good example to the other cruise lines as it can save cost in long term by cut down the amount that generate with diesel fuel. They also paint their ship hulls with silicone paint which is more environmental-friendly.

Holland America has also started using organic ingredients for dry cleaning and printing. They use digital imaging rather than X-rays in its infirmaries. And each ship has a dedicated environmental officer.

As I notice in the Cruise Line International Association’s (CLIA) website “As new ships are introduced, the CLIA members take advantage of the latest technology and produce more environmental-friendly vessels. They utilized on advanced waste water purification, air emission reductions, LED lighting, solar power, high efficiency appliances, energy efficient windows, products made from recycled materials, “Eco-speed” and other environmentally- friendly hull coatings, low sulfur fuels, solid and liquid waste procession, water pollution education programs, fuel conservation, food byproduct management.”

b.    Airline

The main pollution created by airline industry is greenhouse gases. The aircraft contribute a lot to climate change and global warming. As the rapid increase in total number of people travel by aircraft, the greenhouse gas emissions from airline industry increased by 87% between 1990 and 2006. Here are some solutions to reduce the impact to environment by different airlines.

Some airlines try to find more efficient and greener engines because of the increasing cost of fuel and for environment. Not only engines are the problem, the airlines are changing the general design of the aircrafts in order to increase efficiency

And also, expertise found that the higher the altitude, the better the fuel is expelled into the engine so that we could have more power with less fuel. Most airplanes will fly at 35,000 feet above sea level, but some of the airplanes could fly over 40,000 feet above sea level and use the fuel more efficient.

The Southwest Airlines invested on the new environmentally friendly Boeing 737-700, which aim to reduce weight savings by almost five pound per seat so to save fuel and reducing emissions. They also testing new aircraft’s seats that could double the durability and reducing every traveler by almost two pounds.

As fuels are scarce resources, we may use all of them in the future; so that the fuel cost is keep increasing. It is one of the largest costs in airline industry. For one of the Germany airline, the fuel cost is more than one fifth of its revenue. As a result, many airlines are trying some new type of fuel, for example the bio-fuel, using different natural resources for fuels.

Virgin Atlantic Airways has offered a 25 million dollar prize for a greenhouse gas removal solution, and has committed all profits from the transportation industry over the next 10 years to help discover or design a renewable energy source.

Southwest Airlines was the first airline use electronic ticketing through internet. It could reduce a lot of waste paper.

c.      Hotel

The Energy consumption of hotel industry is very large. Statistics have shown that one average hotel (150 guestrooms) uses as many resources in one week as 100 families do in one year. Therefore, the hotel industries are producing relatively more pollution than the household families. One of the reasons why there is still an increasing of pollution produced by the hotel industries is because the cost in setting up a wastage reducing system is very high, especially for those small scale hotels, they cannot afford to invest a huge amount of money in the project only for ‘environmental purpose’.

With the negative effect that brings by the global warming in recent years, people are more concern about the environment, they notice that energy-saving and reducing pollution is a very important issue to help safeguards the environment.

Nowadays, as tourism and the natural environment are interlinked with each other, tourists do care with the environment quality of the hotel they stayed as well as the holiday destination that they visited. Therefore, the hospitality industry is more aware of this issue and they try to do something on it to safeguard the environment and to maintain the planet. “Going green” is believed to be the best way in solving those pollution problems, it becomes a trend now in the Hospitality Industry. The aim of carrying out a “Going green” program is can help to increase the hospitality industry’s awareness of using the Earth’s resources more efficiently, concerning the benefits that brings to the hotel, it can increase the company’s competitiveness in the industry, and to earn recognition in the public society, most importantly, the practices of “Going Green” result in using fewer materials and generating less waste, therefore it is said that costs are minimized and offset.

Most of the “Going Green” programs are start by applying the rule of the four R’s: Recycling, Reducing, Reusing and Replacing. Besides, get the staffs and the guests involved in the program is also a very important step to success.

There are some successful examples in eco hotel. All of these hotels are 4- 5 green stars hotel. (This rating is giving by the website

The rating is measured by:

  • Ø   Dependence on the natural environment
  • Ø   Ecological sustainability
  • Ø   Proven contribution to conservation
  • Ø   Provision of environmental training programs
  • Ø   Incorporation of cultural considerations
  • Ø   Provision of an economic return to the local community

The Westport woods hotel and spa. (Ireland)

They continuously developed the energy management. The hotel also invite guest to segregate waste and avoid unnecessary laundry. All the lighting using in the spa and lobby are 1 watt LED and CFL (Compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs.

They already save more than 15 Million kWh of energy in 5 years (from 2003 to 2007)

Earth Embassy Guest House (Japan)This hotel are using low energy lighting, For the water supply, they collect rain water for the farm and outdoor cleaning projects.

This hotel doesn’t have any shower, all the bathing facilities are at Yurari Onsen Hot Springs.

968 Park Hotel (USA)

The hotel and spa are fully insulated using material made from recycled blue jeans.

There are also some motion sensor lighting in some public areas, and all lighting is provided using low energy bulbs.

Tatler (2008) for Best Eco-Hotel,

This hotel doesn’t have electricity. Lamps and candles are used for lighting. Coal-filled braziers are used for heating.

For the ventilation system, this hotel is located in desert, so the hotel is using natural ventilation for the ventilation system

Amazon Yarapa River Lodge (Peru)

This hotel is using only low energy consumption light fixtures throughout the lodge.

Guests are educated upon arrival to the lodge. Hotel has a solar power station that currently provides 95% of the electrical needs.

All of the drinking water is brought in from a bottling source. The hotel has large drinking water fountains that are refilled on a regular basis. River Water is used for the rest of needs

Balamku Inn on the Beach (Mexico)

Energy is totally supplied by solar and wind generators.

Constructed wetlands for grey water supports local plants, water usage info in all rooms, low flush composting toilets are some of our best practices

Due to the fact that environmental conserving is not only benefit the environment and people’s health, but also help the hotels in minimizing the establishment cost so as to maximizing its profit, it is a win-win situation to both the community and the entrepreneurships, it is highly desirable for the managerial leaders in the hotels to have the responsibility in carrying out a successful plan in environmental concern.

d.    Government

Nowadays, the whole world is concerning about the environmental movement.

Different country has different Environmental movement policy.

For example, In China, Chinese government began to control the pollution and protect the forest, According to the Chinese government website, the Central Government invested more than 300 billion dollars between 1998 and 2001 on protection of vegetation, farm subsidies and conversion of farm to forests. Between 1999 and 2002, China converted 7.7 million hectares of farmland into forest.

Also, from the beginning of 2008, all supermarkets, department stores and shops in China are interdict to give free plastic bags.

In Australia, Government spends $12.9 billion strategy that aims to secure the long term water supply of all Australians.

There is a Regional Forest Agreements that are 20-year plans for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests.

For the European Union

The EU is working for a global agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and is leading the way by taking bold action of its own. In a landmark decision in December 2008, EU leaders approved a comprehensive package of emission-cutting measures. The plan aims to reduce greenhouse gases at least 20% by 2020 (compared with 1990 levels), raise renewable energy’s share of the market to 20% and cut overall energy consumption by 20% (compared with projected trends). Within the drive for more renewable energy, it was agreed that 10% of fuel for transport should come from bio fuels, electricity or hydrogen.

Also, the EU moved in 2008 to set binding limits on emissions of fine particles known as PM2.5. Released by cars and trucks, these microscopic particles can cause respiratory diseases. Under the new law, which takes effect in 2011, EU countries will have to reduce exposure to fine particles in urban areas by an average 20% by 2020 (based on 2010 levels).


To be summarized, our group is totally agree with the statement above that the tourism leaders are now having a new responsibility besides earning money for the company but also dealing with the environmental concerns. We found that this new changed have uncountable benefits not only for the environmental and the community, but also for the companies. A successful planning in conserving the environment can help the company to save money, as most of the resources are better utilized and allocated, the company do not have to pay any extra wastage, therefore, it maximize the profits and increases the chance to access to a larger market.

Caring for the environment should not be happened in the hospitality industry only. It should be spread to the every individual. It was because this is also a place where we live and work, this is our community, our environment, our planet. Although what we can do the environment is not that powerful than those large corporations, but it doesn’t matter, even though you just “BYOB”-bring your own bag in order to get the plastic bag when shopping, it can also help the environment. Good environmental behavior can save your money, to protect your community and the most important thing is that it can bring a better quality of life to our children, our next generation. So, PLEASE START TO CONSERVE OUR ENVIRONMENT FROM NOW ON!


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