Monday, May 18, 2015

Literary Analysis

To begin with, the protagonist has clearly changed througout the entire book and there lies many reasons for the change. At the start of the book, Ji-li is a child who wants to live like everyone around her however, her thoughts changes over time just like everyone else's. One of the main reasons why Ji-li's thoughts changed from an innocent child to a rebel against the Chinese Communist Party was because Ji-Li found out that her family was at risk of revealing their secret that will make them suffer severe prejudice. Also, near the end of the book, the red guards found out that her family was a black family and resulted the confiscation of the protagonist's family properties. This clearly made up Ji-li's mind that her family's major enemy was the Chinese Communist Party.
Another reason Ji-li turned against the Communist Party was because of her secret. Ji-li's family's major secret was that her family was a black family. The protagonist's family was considered as a black family because her grandfather was a landlord and her father was considered a rightist (Wikipedia). On page 27, Ji-li tolde her biggest secret when her dad said, "This is for her own good. Her classmates and teachers will just be surprised if she says that her father won't let her go. But swhat she passes the audition an can't pass the political background investigation? Then everybody will know that the family has a political problem." As soon as Ji-li realized that her family was facing political problems, she found out that her family was not the same as others and got shocked. On page 30, it clearly proves Ji-li's surprisement. "Until that spring, I believed that my life and my family were nearly perfect." The protagonist was extremely young when she was taught about the ultimate secret of her family and so she was shocked. Due to this, the protagonist went against the Communist Party.
Overall, we can we that Ji-li changed from an innocent young child to a rebel who is against the Chinese Communist Party.

Literary Analysis-Nico A

As a book representing dark times for people during the Cultural Revolution in China, the book Red Scarf Girl, by Ji-Li Jiang exerts a theme similar to anger, hope and fear.  These, were mostly shown throughout the book, mostly by Ji.  For example, we can see Ji's obvious anger towards her family when she tries to run away and change her name in order to be able to take opportunities that were rejected from her for her family's past.  This I see as a combination of  hatred, but mostly anger for the cruelty she served for something she could not change about her life.  The fear factor she served in this book was early in the book, where teachers where choosing students to go to different schools. There she feared that even her new school would know her family's dark past, and prevent her from following her dreams.  Not only that, but in this event, you can see she hoped for the school to not know about her grandpa being a landlord.  She hoped th
at people would not know her in order to have a new beginning.  Obviously people figured out.  Hope again showed day of light after her teacher in her new school, allowed her to learn and do things that she shouldn't have been allowed to do because of her past.  It wasn't that he didn't know about her past, but simply, he realized that she couldn't do anything about it, and what had happened in her family could not be modified by her.

Literary Analysis - James

How does the protagonist change from the beginning to the end of the novel?  What does this character learn about himself (or herself) and about how the world works?

In the book Jiang really changed from the beginning to the end of the novel. In-between this period of time the author goes through any changes mostly mentally. For example in the beginning she was top student and very confident. When she goes to her new school she felt nervous and less confident. All of this was due to the fact that in her last school it was found out that her family was once a family of landlords. It wasn’t even her whole family, it only her grandfather which was no longer alive. The author also finds herself hating her family and past more and more because it was preventing her from moving forward in life. Then at the end of the novel she realizes that that was the past and she needed to look into the future. After that she felt better about her family and was determined to not let it break apart. 

The view of the world is one of the most important topics in the book or at least the view of China at the time. Reading the book living in 2015 gives the opportunity to see how different from todays society is. The author however could not see into the future to what modern China has become. In the beginning of the book the author was unaware of what stirring. She though that she was the most privileged person in the world. Later on she thought that she was the unluckiest because she was born into a family that has a “dark” past. When her family starting to be broken apart by the officials that were convinced that her father was listening to foreign radio, she thought that the world was an awful place to live.

In the end of the book the author explains how her family moved to the US and she went to live in Hawaii. Here she realized how free people in the US were. She saw people make fun of the president and not have to worry about a thing. This totally changed the way she saw the world. In the US she was allowed to write books about her experiences and not have to worry about a thing. This probably taught her a lot about herself because for once now she had an opportunity to read different books and different views on what she went through. This gave her another side of the story and maybe she read of stories much worse than hers.

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Alicia Week 5 Literary Analysis

Red Scarf Girl
Ji-Li Jiang
Literary Analysis

  1. How does the protagonist change from the beginning to the end of the novel?  What does this character learn about himself (or herself) and about how the world works?

In the beginning of the novel, the reader can infer that Ji-Li is a "normal" girl, who always does what she is told, has a good amount of friends, and excels in school. Towards the end of the book, Ji-Li still does what she must do to be safe in the Revolution, but she has many doubts and thoughts that would be considered bad in her society. 

Ji-Li knows that the Revolution is good for her country and she wants to help and be a part of it, but she disagrees and dislikes some of the conditions because it affects her friends and family. For example, Ji-Li wanted to be a red guard, but she was also sad that her family had to burn the pictures, which were considered four-olds. Other things also happened that were worse, like her friend's grandmother killing herself and other people close to her were put to work on the streets and were beaten. Lastly, when the guards came in and raided her house, and even took her precious stamp collection, Ji-Li was miserable. These events cause Ji-Li a great distress, and she gets more confused the more she thinks about what is happening. To conclude, Ji-Li knew in the beginning exactly what she wanted to do in life, and everything was fine, but as the "revolutionary events" went on, she started having doubts about wether the Revolution was actually a good thing.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Literary Analysis - Julia Jacob #5

Fear is one of the themes of the book Red Scarf Girl, by Ji-li Jiang. The period of the Cultural Revolution was a time of fear, confusion, and violence in which the rules and traditions of the Chinese society break down. Adolescents and college students wander the streets and approach people if they think they are dressed wrong.The Red Guards conduct searches of people's households, as they do the Jiangs (due to the family’s ‘Black History’). They live in fear of the searches and the kids and Grandma stay in the park all day long for better protection from the guards. The family is so insecure about safety that they have their own system with a map to designate whether or not it is safe to come home. Ji-li and her family pass the better part of the two years living in fear, especially once her father is detained due to the family’s ‘Black History’. He now has to attend late night meetings that are located in the theater where he is critiqued, mocked and pressured to confess. As soon as the search for ‘Four Old’ items and riches, Ji-li Jiang and her family had to fire their housekeeper, Song Po-Po, because they are so scared to be accused of exploiting workers. A bit after this happens, the Red Guards are searching Ji-li’s house and they find a knife with some of the family’s burn photos in a garbage bag. Everything the family does is based on fear, and they do not want anything to get them in trouble.

Literary Analysis

Habibeh Marron
Literary Analysis
Red Scarf Girl
By Jiang Ji-Li

A Tough Childhood in a Tough World

“With my red scarf, the emblem of the Young Pioneers, tied around my neck, and my heart bursting with joy, I achieved and grew every day until that fateful year, 1966“ (Jiang 1). Ji-Li was a shiny, joyful girl, she thought that her life was the happiest of all, she felt immense love for her family and her culture, her life was troubled less, until the Cultural Revolution began. Every aspect of her life was threatened because of her class status, in school, she would be taken a part from activities other children were able to perform, like being a Red Successor. Several of her belongings were taken away from her… including her dad.  Ji-Li became a shy girl, scared of the world.
We all grow up, mature and make decisions. We all treasure the memories of our childhood in a special drawer in our heart, though they are all different from other people´s memories. For the protagonist of this novel, Jiang Ji-Li these memories are tough.
In the climax of the novel, the author shows us a tough decision that is presented to Ji-Li, she has to choose between her nation and her family. At first she embraced the idea to change her name, to cut any reins with her family. “Chairman Mao says you can't choose your class status but you can choose your own future“ (Jiang 215). She feels the need of being an “educable child“ and follow the path of her country. Secondly, Ji-Li develops a strong personality and self sufficient motto, she assumes the load of her brother and sister and even her grandma. Her childhood seems threatened, she has to grow faster, grow and make decisions.   
After all our Red Scarf Girl chooses her family over class status, she decides to embrace the idea of her being somehow different, she has her mindset defined and faces with courage the situations China is going through. In the chapter called “The Rice Harvest“ she demonstrates her responsibility and hard work. “I had no secrets no goals, and no need to make an effort to impress anybody“ (Jiang 230).  Her house was inspected, her belongings were taken away, her parents were punished, China teared her childhood a part, but she never gave up. In the epilogue Ji-Li talks as a grown-up and explains how her adulthood made of her a strong woman. She set a mission for herself, passing the message and her experience to young minds, for them to have a bigger perspective of what's out there.
What was grown-up- Ji-Li´s overall perspective? “Our leader had taken advantage of our trust and loyalty to manipulate the whole country. this is the most frightening lesson of the Cultural Revolution: Without a sound legal system, a small group or even a single person can take control of an entire country. This is as true now as it was then“ (Jian 266). She believes that hers was a lucky situation, she had few education and no skills, though she managed to write this masterpiece and illuminate the world with her story. 

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Apply The Lesson, Please!

Red Scarf Girl
Ji-li Jiang
Week 5
Literary Analysis

Towards the beginning of the novel, when the main character, Ji-li, is still unclear about her family background and insecure about herself, she chooses to join his classmates in protesting, even though she knew it wasn't the appropriate thing to do. 
"The class was divided into two groups [...] The other group was going to challenge Jiang Xi-wen, an unpleasant woman who lived in a house behind the school yard. I was assigned to the group going to Jiang Xi-wen’s house. Of course, this was not a coincidence, not at all. They all knew that she was my relative."
This proves that she is as hurtful as the classmates she constantly criticises throughout  the whole book. Not only is she disrespecting her elders, but she's neglecting her values for a cause she's not passionate about. What this is showing is that in the beginning, she is unstable and unable to be herself in a world that's constantly trying to change her. She crumples at the sight of disapproval and her urge to fit in grows. So in order to do so, she believes she must change to be like everyone else even if it means pretending to be someone she's not.
She began to put the puzzle together that what she was
doing wasn't right. Also, she would never fit in because
she was different in a special way. 
Later, she finally begins to put the puzzle pieces together, she learns how hurtful those protest and da-zi-baos are by experiencing it herself. As two of her classmates write a spiteful one about her and post it on the school walls for everyone to see, she begins to understand that she shouldn't care about what others think about her. Obviously, she gets offended although she doesn't regret her actions. She is judged for simple things that would seem normal in our world today, such as her family background and being respectful to the teachers.
Ji-li had the opportunity to fail, by following the crowd
or take a risk and be who she truly was. 
On the other hand, her respect is rewarded when her teacher attempts to send her and her best friend to their dream university. Even though this dream is not accomplished, Ji-li finally realizes that she doesn't have to change, and she shouldn't allow people to judge her for her past because she can't change it. For example, her grandfather's job, there's no possible way for her to change the fact that he was a landlord. But what she can change is little things, such as s protesting against things she doesn't believe. She's not her past, therefore she shouldn't be judged for it. One can't erase their mistakes, but only learn from them. In order for Ji-li to have grown so much she had to have made silly mistakes such as hurting her aunt Jian Xi-wen and that lead to her taking new risks because in every mistake there's potential for growth. In the past, you learn the lesson, but in the future you apply it.