The setting is in Muji, China during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. The leader of the communist party at the time is Chairman Mao and ruled based on a Marxist model by the story mentioning the concrete statue of him in the center of the square. The author states that “the Cultural Revolution was over already, and recently the Party has been propagating the idea that all citizens were
The Memoir Spider Eaters by Rae Yang is her personal account of her life during the Maoist revolution. In addition, she reminisces about her trials and tribulations during her active participation in the culture revolution and the great North Wilderness. Her family also had various misfortunes due to these changing ideological beliefs spread by the revolution. This memoir illustrates in great detail what Yang experienced under communist rule. Spider Eaters opened up a door to a young girl and her families struggle to be good Samaritans under communist rule and their final disillusionment of the revolution they whole heartedly believed in. Yang and her family struggled with the vast ideological changes during the Maoist Revolution, in turn,
The Cultural Revolution was a time of much confusion in china. The memoir Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang illustrates the chaos of that time. Ji-li’s experiences during this time period led to her point of view changing. Ji-li starts the Cultural Revolution full of progressive thoughts, but this quickly turns to confusion, and leads to an important choice, something that impacts the rest of her life.
According to the Online Dictionary, the “Chinese Cultural Revolution” is defined as “a movement in China, beginning in the year 1966 and led by Mao Zedong, to restore the vitality of communism in China.” To begin, the Chinese Cultural Revolution performed a significant role in establishing the setting and conflicts in the novel of “Red Scarf Girl”. The setting of the story took place in the city of Shanghai, specifically throughout the course of two and a half years from the year 1966 to 1969. The protagonist and narrator of the story, Ji Li Jiang, was a 12-year-old Chinese girl who lived as a wealthy resident in the brownstone apartments of Shanghai. As the story progressed, Ji Li developed alterations in her relationships with her peers at school, the perception of her goals and responsibilities in life, and knowledge of her family history in relation to her class-status in the community. Therefore, throughout the course of the story, it was evident that significant changes and development of the relationships, perceptions, and knowledge of Ji Li Jiang occurred as a result of the events that she experienced.
In Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets,” setting unfolds an important aspect of the story by positioning a ‘where’ and ‘when.’ Throughout the story, June May struggles with her internal conflict of resisting her Chinese culture. However, she begins to release this resistance as she ventures through China. The setting perpetuates the theme through the usage of transportation, the significance of the color gray amongst colors, and June May’s transition into a Chinese-American. As reflected by the setting and external places visited in “A Pair of Tickets,” June May’s interior state becomes more Chinese as she explores her native country.
In the short story “A Decade”, Ha Jin further enforces the power and control the government had on everything. The story is told in the perspective of girl who left her village then came back years later in which she recalls her time in school there. More specifically her time with a teacher named Wenli, a shy, soft spoken, innocent teacher who seemingly was not fit to teach under a Communist government. First, she is ridiculed for her singing, then she is publicly shunned for her intimate relationship with a fellow teacher, but the incident that brought her all the way down, was her attempt to teach the class what a metaphor was. She did this by referring to the statement Chairman Mao in which he expressed that americans and russians were dirt. As she explained this was not the case for they were humans as everyone is it all went downhill as the narrator stated, “How dare she change Chairman Mao’s meaning! How could we trust such a teacher?” (Jin, Pg. 204) This in turn causes an uproar amongst the school which causes Wenli to be sent to the countryside. She comes back a monster of a woman compared to who she was. When the narrator sees her teacher in her present cruel self she states, “...similar to how I had felt when my first boyfriend left me for another girl.” (Jin, Pg. 207) This statement allows the reader to have the narrator's real feeling for she witnesses a woman far from the woman she had known only to question herself in a “what have did I
When Jan Wong first arrived in China, she was filled with the complete belief that China’s totalitarianism way of government was the best way of governing, and that no other way would do. While natives smiled behind false expressions, she failed to realize the true extent of the miserable lives under the Maoist regime until she herself experienced the injustices faced by the Chinese citizens. In Red China Blues, author Jan Wong writes of her experiences during her life in China and after, and how her whole journey led to the realization of the harsh reality that Maoism really was. As Wong learned more and more about the truth behind the totalitarian government, her own experiences helped her to transform
Can you imagine that everyone rejects you just because you are a girl? That actually happened universally in the last century, specifically in the old China. The gender discrimination was deeply rooted in people’s minds and became a traditional Chinese thinking. Wayson Choy illustrates this kind of discrimination really well in his novel The Jade Peony. In the novel, Grandmother continually reminds Jook-Liang that girl-child is useless, it affect Jook-Liang thinks about people, and change the views of various people. Also, it makes her struggle to assimilate to Chinese and Canadian society. Though, she tries her best to revolt
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
In the novel A Daughter of Han by Ida Pruitt, the readers are taken through a journey of one woman through her life’s highs and lows. Through the eyes of Ning Lao T'ai-t'ai, readers can truly understand the life of a working woman during this time period. Although life may not have been easy at times, Ning Lao shows the determination and passion she had for her family and for their lives to be better. The life of a working woman is never an easy life but adding in the social rules and opium addiction that effected each part of Ning Lao’s life made it much more difficult.
Book Review: Growing Up in the People’s Republic: Conversations Between Two Daughters of China’s Revolution. By- Ye Weili with Ma Xiaodong
In Jan Wong’s entrancing expose Red China Blues, she details her plight to take part in a system of “harmony and perfection” (12) that was Maoist China. Wong discloses her trials and tribulations over a course of three decades that sees her searching for her roots and her transformation of ideologies that span over two distinctive forms of Communist governments. This tale is so enticing in due part to the events the author encountered that radically changed her very existence and more importantly, her personal quest for self-discovery.
The Sun of the Revolution by Liang Heng, is intriguing and vivid, and gives us a complex and compelling perspective on Chines culture during a confusing time period. We get the opportunity to learn the story of a young man with a promising future, but an unpleasant childhood. Liang Heng was exposed to every aspect of the Cultural Revolution in China, and shares his experiences with us, since the book is written from Liang perspective, we do not have a biased opinion from an elite member in the Chinese society nor the poor we get an honest opinion from the People’s Republic of China. Liang only had the fortunate opportunity of expressing these events due his relationship with his wife, An American woman whom helps him write the book. When
Amy Tan is an American Born Chinese, daughter of immigrants, and her family shares many features with the families depicted in her novels. Tan's novels offer some glimpses of life in China while developing the themes of mother-daughter relations, cultural adaptation and "women with a past". Tan’s novels share many themes and elements, but this paper will focus mainly on two episodes of the novel The Joy Luck Club: "The Joy Luck Club" and "Waiting Between the Trees"; and will make references to The Kitchen's God Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses.
For the bulk of the mid- to late-20th Century, Eileen Chang’s name and literary prowess fell into obscurity as a result of events related to the Cultural Revolution and her own reclusion. In C.T. Hsia’s A History of Modern Chinese Fiction, he praised Chang for her use of "rich imagery" and "profound exploration of human nature.” In his book, he also claimed Chang to be “the best and most important writer” of mid-twentieth century China. Hsia’s remarks and Ang Lee’s film adaptation of her novella, Lust, Caution, have helped to bring Chang’s name back onto the literary scene.