Blood Red Sunset Book Review Essay

1485 Words Dec 2nd, 2010 6 Pages
Blood Red Sunset
By: Ma Bo

This memoir of Ma Bo’s sent shock waves throughout China when it was published and was even first banned by the Communist Government. This passionate story paints a clear picture for what the Great Chinese Cultural Revolution was really like. Many Chinese living today can attest to similar if not identical ordeals as expressed in Ma Bo’s story. The toils of being a young Red Guard in inner China were experienced by many if not millions. The horrors and atrocities were wide spread throughout the country, not just in Inner Mongolia. The experiences illustrated in Blood Red Sunset uniquely belong to Ma Bo’s entire generation of mislead Chinese. As expressed in the books dedication the Cultural Revolution
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His insight into this Inner China cultural conflict is just a taste of the reality at the time, but even this small yet detailed taste is quite bitter. Early on as an idealistic, young, and naive student Ma Bo set out on an epic journey to answer the call of China’s Great Leader, Mao Zedong. Even before this journey he had a history of answering such calls with great enthusiasm. This very overzealous student while in middle school even responded once by attacking his own mother to answer Mao’s call for ideological vigilance. He denounced her in public many times and even put up propaganda posters denouncing her, as well as taking part in searches of his own house. Then when Mao Zedong called for China’s youth to gain revolutionary experience in the new Cultural Revolution by going up to the mountains and down to the countryside making revolution. With that the young Red Guard fervently answered the call by joining the Production and Construction Military Corps, which was indeed a branch of the Chinese military. From that point he and his friends set out to Inner Mongolia to seek happiness from hard work and gaining revolutionary experience along the way. They did this by the reclamation of hundreds of thousands of acres of grassland. Through reclamation which involved harsh and exhausting labor, he and his friends at the time managed to lay to waste thousands of acres of grasslands completely desolating the countryside.

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