Though the books assigned to read in junior high are meant to get students informed about both literature and social issues, unfortunately reading these books is often pushed aside to focus on more interesting hobbies, and students are left to pray that sparknotes has a summary. In ninth grade, however, a new year’s resolution committed me to reading The Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang. The book is a memoir about the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the book quickly became one of my favorites. After finishing the book for the first time, I decided to research the politics behind the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and that led into researching the political history of more countries. I have been deeply interested in politics since then, and along with politics, I have been deeply interested in the law. The ability that people have to use the law to make a difference is both inspiring and terrifying, exciting in a way that you can protect people, and terrifying in a way that, like Chairman Mao discovered, it can be used to control an entire population. My interest in the law and in serving others began with this
People were so obsessed with proving their dedication to Mao that they lost sight of how irrationally they were acting. The author of The Mao Button uses extreme hyperbole to satirize this personality worship. The entire country of China lived with a deep-seated fear that their dedication to the Chairman would be called into question, and they would not be able to prove themselves - and thus would face ridicule, or the even punishment. Indeed, a mere lapel pin was enough by which to judge someone’s patriotism.
While there she learned that the communist party was unfair full of a bunch of power hungry, lying politicians. Her first encounter with disillusionment was when her friend Huar who told her that during the famine many people in her village died of starvation. The claim completely threw Yang into disbelieve as she recalled the official newspaper stated that no one had died. Secondly, the attempted assassination of Mao left her to question the nature of the cultural revolution. Thirdly, Yang found out that not everyone volunteered to go to the Great North Wilderness. A girl who worked on the pig farm told Yang that she was forced to go because her father was told that a nationwide policy had been issued where all eldest children had to go to the countryside. Yang expressed that she seen the cruelty and propaganda that came out of the party. Finally, the biggest factor in Yang’s disillusionment was when she fell in love with Zhou. Zhou’s father fought for the nationalists in 1949. Therefore, Zhou and his whole family was seen as nationalist. She felt that the party was unfair in classing everyone by their “historical problems” which led them to have little opportunities and no future. These are prime examples what lead to Yang’s disillusion view of the communist party.
In the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Ji-li is full of thoughts of moving forward, and helping Mao’s work to succeed. She believes that she can make a difference in the world. Ji-li helps with the “Destroy the Four Olds” campaign, and is nearby when a shop sign is smashed for having a name that does not concede
Consider the passage in which Ji-li witnesses her cousin Shan-Shan as he walks right past his mother, who has fallen on the street (page 142)? Does Ji-li shun her own parents in any way because of their class status? How does she overcome her desire to break with her family? Are there any circumstances which justify putting the goal of your country before that of your family?
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.
Through out all of history we have seen so many heroes and villains all over the world. But one place in particular was in China, with a leader who goes by the name of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong was a well-known communist leader in china who actually lead the Chinese Communist Party. He is one of the most important people/historical figures in history. At first he was helping China at the beginning of his ruling, nut then his actions had cause China to completely fall and breakout into violence and complete chaos!! Changing the views of his people because whatever good he had done did not matter anymore from his great down fall. During his ruling though some believed that Mao
“As one of the Red Guards in the middle school, I was given power through Mao to torture and humiliate our teachers, headmaster or anyone we didn’t like. I didn’t know it was wrong. I thought I was doing the right thing to continue the revolution, to fight and win the class struggle”- Zhao, Lin Qing. As a teenager Zhao was a Red Guard in Guangzhou during the Cultural Revolution. When asked what her impression was a member of the Red Guards, Zhao answered with two words: “naïve and senseless”. She refused answering anything more about her experience. She said, “The memories are still too painful to recall.”
The reason why the author might have chosen the case-study approach to writing this book is because of the numerous similarities between the living conditions and circumstances that Ye and Ma faced. Both Ye and Ma were born in Beijing in around same period, they had both lived through the revolution in 1958 in the city, they became Red Guards in their early youth, and they both were sent to the countryside, and allowed to return back order to study. Also, they both traveled to the United States for their higher studies. Ye and Ma are discussing each aspect their life trajectory paralleled to
“It was not easy to live in Shanghai” (Anyi 137). This line, echoed throughout Wang Anyi 's short piece “The Destination” is the glowing heartbeat of the story. A refrain filled with both longing and sadness, it hints at the many struggles faced by thousands upon thousands trying to get by in the city of Shanghai. One of these lost souls, the protagonist, Chen Xin, was one of the many youths taken from his family and sent to live the in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. Ten years after the fact, Chen Xin views the repercussions of the Cultural Revolution internally and externally as he processes the changes that both he, and his hometown have over-gone in the past ten years. Devastatingly, he comes to the conclusion that there is no going back to the time of his childhood, and his fond memories of Shanghai exist solely in memory. This is in large part is due to the changes brought on by the Cultural Revolution. These effects of the Cultural Revolution are a central theme to the story; with repercussions seen on a cultural level, as well as a personal one.
De-hong sees communism becoming increasingly important to many people but has yet to make up her own mind about the situation. She continues to watch those in power, including those over the teaching school where she now resides. When she learns that a favorite teacher and then her best friend, Cousin Hu, had been Communists and had been either chased from the city or executed for their political beliefs, she makes up her mind that she, too, will become a Communist.
To continue, Chin’s grandma has no money, therefore in order to experience a better quality life, she is sent to live with other relatives, however many of them consider her a burden because she’s just another mouth to feed. Each time Chin moves, she experiences harsh class differences, for example in some of the homes she stays at, they have no electricity or running water. While on the other hand, other families she has stayed with have been fortunate enough to afford color television, a maid and other luxuries. Fortunately, Chin is able to overcome class stereotypes with her intelligence, which allows her to attend a prestigious high school regardless of her class ranking.
“We’re with the police! Come out with your hands up” (Hamman, 55.) Sandra Cheskey, a thirteen year old girl, who survived a horrific encounter at Gitchie Manitou along with four of her other good friends has a amazing but scary story. Sandra being the youngest of four, loved to go out and do crazy things with her friends, until one night when the group of five ventured out to Gitchie and decided to smoke and drink. Sandra would've been taken as a nice, kind girl who cared for everything and anything, she was never too naughty, never did anything of the sort like drinking or smoking. Taking care of many more responsibilities than she needed too, following a Christian church and spending time with her grandma and grandpa helping out with her grandpa's farm were just some of the things she loved to do. Her grandpa once said, “You’re a kind girl. God did good with you” (Hamman 8.)
However, one of the main issues and challenges existing in the play is that the revenge by Lisbeth is highly glorified and praised in a manner that manner that seems to highly support and promote tolerance and expectations for violent reactions and actions as a way of seeking retribution. The message that the novel clearly depicts is that institutional powers demonstrated in the play can only be established within the deeply founded patriarchal ideals and that the only way this can be solved is by the victims taking the problems in their own hands. A more effective approach as demonstrated through removing the veil of oppression and expose domination in relationships and at the workplace.
But, they are highlighted stronger in the effects of the event. After encouraging civilians that oppose him to criticize him and speak out, many did. People in positions of influence, such as teachers, denounced Mao and his ideologies (Boyle). This was a ruse in order to seek opposition, and weed them out from the rest of the country, because in a year, Mao’s secret police gathered 500,000 people who spoke out of his favor (Saunders). Typically, when a dictator wants to remain in power, they will attempt to dissolve the opposing party, or those who would vote for them. Through the Hundred Flowers, people were eliminated or denounced for the sole reason that they spoke against their leader. Mao took away from them what is thought to be one of the most highly valued right: the freedom of speech. The socialist dictator admitted it as well, claiming, “What should our policy be towards non-Marxist ideas? As far as unmistakable counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs of the socialist cause are concerned, the matter is easy, we simply deprive them of their freedom of speech," (Boyle). With the people who oppose him silenced, he was likely to remain in power, using Hitler’s and Stalin’s