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Word Count: 1,463
War violates every right of a child -- the right to life the right to be with family and community the right to health the right to development of personality and the right to be nurtured and protected - Graa Machel Expert to the Secretary General of the United Nations Empire of the Sun is a novel based on the events that JG Ballard witnessed during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai in WWII The story depicts an eleven year old boys psychological transformations during his imprisonment within the Lunghua internment camp As an innocent upper-middle class boy before the war the harsh realities of war has changed Jim to a pragmatic emotionally detached young man with the memories of war haunting him forever This novel basically shows how human beings adapt to their surroundings in extreme conditions When basic survival becomes an immediate concern people are only too willing to throw away their morals and values for a single piece of potato In this novel we can investigate the impacts of war and the changes of a persons identity due to the amount of violence long-time imprisonment and deprivation of food in the internments camps As the only son of a wealthy British businessman Jim grew up in the pampered environments of the British expatriate community in Shanghai Jim never needed to worry about survival - food housing clothing and other basic necessities He had a governess servants a driver a room full of toys and the freedom to roam around the city on his bike Although Jim observes poverty and adversity everyday such as the beggar at the gates of his house rickshaw coolies and the thousands of Chinese refugees dying of cholera in the sealed stockades at Pootung p3 he always felt as if they were in a different dimension Perhaps his perception of the world could be explained by his childhood upbringing in the tradition of the British class system Jims upbringing
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