Sunday, August 24, 2014

Question Commander (First round)

Based on the first two chapters I have seemed to really be enjoying the book. This book is very different then to any other book I have read and probably than most people. This book takes place in 1966 and shows how people in China were living and affected by the revolution. But I still wonder and would like to know...

How will it affect the book now that the dad said no to Ji-li's audition?

I think it will affect Ji-li negatively between Ji-li's dad and Ji-li,  for example. I think Ji-li will ignore her dad and it will cause a mess somehow in the book. But on the other hand, I think it mainly helped the whole family in a positive way, because it would've been a lot worse if she went and actually got accepted. It would've been bad if she got in because of the political background inspection and that is what would have gone wrong, because they would know they have a bad political background.

How does destroying the four olds help them become a stronger socialist country?

I think it doesn't help as much as they think it does, since by four olds they mean they destroy old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. We still use some old customs, culture, etc. in our daily lives, for example religion has been around for thousands of years and lots of people believe that it has helped them live a better life. So it would religions by not celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah or staying up until midnight on new year.


Finally, if most of the shops took down their signs because of the newspaper and radio, does it mean everyone in China agrees to this destroy "four old"?

I think the newspaper and radio must've been a very powerful tools to use in the past to get people to change, since people changed style and signs were removed from shops in a couple of days for banners etc. So I think this must've been a modern technology for them. Although it sounds like most people is in agree with the newspaper and radio, but I think no one is brave enough or anyone in with power wants to fight over it with the dictator.


  1. I enjoyed your post because I always wonder how stories would be if a choice had been different, your post's questions are exactly the kind of questions that provoke those thoughts.

  2. Christian,

    I think your post had many interesting details, so I liked your post. First of all, I liked your ideas and I agreed with most of the part of your answer. Also, I liked you images because I thought it really matched your ideas well. However, there also are parts where I disagree with you. First of all, I also think that Ji-li's relationship with her dad is going to be bad, but I also think that she is going to try to fix this problem her country has. Also, I think that destroying the "four olds" is not really the best way of becoming a good socialist country, but I think that it can help a little bit. For example, I think breaking some four olds thoughts are good, such as the men makes money, and the women stays at home and do chores. However, I really think your post was good and detailed.

  3. Christian,

    To begin with, your post was very intriguing and had many powerful ideas. first of all, I really like the examples you gave on the second question, which is something I had never thought of. If the revolution of four olds were to happen nowadays, how do you think it would be? I think it would be completely terrifying since we would basically have to start everything again right?! Adding on to your first question, I agree that Ji-li's dad not letting her go to the audition will probably cause a lot of trouble in their personal relationship, and I think that in the further development of the story things might get tense between the two.
    Lucas T

  4. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution will always be a dark period in history, but it taught us many lessons on what can go wrong when one person is entrusted with too much power. Unlike others, I believe that it was a good thing that Ji-Li's father did not permit her to attend the audition. Mao Ze-Dong's extremist campaign was focused on eliminating and "cleaning" Chinese society of capitalist thoughts, Western culture and the "Four Olds" (old customs, old habits, old cultures and old ideas). So far, the events in The Red Scarf Girl have led me to believe that Jiang Ji-Li's family may be supporting Mao Ze-Dong's opposition and prefer more capitalist values. People's thoughts and opinions mattered greatly at the time in China, to a point where they would dictate whether citizens would be killed for disagreeing with the government and Red Guard militias. If Ji-Li had gone along with the audition, then the subsequent search would expose her family to torture, violence and murder.

    In regard to your second question, I believe that eliminating "Four Olds" and other such elements of society does not help any country become stronger. Mao Ze-Dong launched the Cultural Revolution as a way to maintain and secure his authority over the Communist Party and Chinese government. In order for the Cultural Revolution to work, Mao appealed directly to his supporters and the nation's youth, such as Ji-Li, to help him "clean" China of many Western and money-oriented components of society that he considered "impure". Basically, the Cultural Revolution was an extremist's dream of a country in which people's lives are dictated by fear of the government. What ended up happening in China, was that the revolution spinned out of control pulling China into a state of chaos and near anarchy where new blood coated the streets everyday after violent street wars and brutal torture.

    By shutting down many of the country's schools, Mao deployed most of the country's youth into a "battle" against the society they lived in. The movement quickly gained momentum and violence as students came together to organize and create army-like groups called Red Guards who attacked and persecuted anyone and anything that could be associated with China's pre-revolutionary past and capitalist values. Everyday, the Red Guards went after people that could somehow be connected to an element of Western culture or money-oriented thoughts. So the newspaper and radio campaigns were not even the main issue. People were having their houses burned and everything they owned taken for believing in something different. Many people who took down signs willingly did it out of the fear of being murdered.

  5. Christian,

    Your thinking really intrigued me because you were putting a lot of deep thoughts into it. On you first answer, I 100% agree with you about how she couldn't audition at all because of her family's political background. In my opinion, it would be better if she didn't even have to think about it because it would give her the temptation to audition and disobey her family. On the other hand, I disagree with you about Ji-Li's relationship with her father getting weak because this wasn't her father's fault. I mean, her dad did have to prohibit her from going to the real audition because of her political issues; however, it was the whole family that repressed Ji-Li from auditioning. Overall, your other two questions seemed completely reasonable and well narrowed down.

  6. Christian,
    Your post was very narrowed and focused and it brought up some good points. I would like to answer some of your questions.

    1#- I believe that at first Ji-Li obviously felt hurt and insulted because her father had taken such a good chance from her to become a red guard. Eventually she will realise that what her father did was for the best. As he stated, he said that if she passed the tryouts there would be a very thorough political background search where they would be caught for some reason. If they were that meant that they would be persecuted and harased because they were different.

    2#- I believe that Mao wants them to get rid of the four old because it will be easier for him to take over. With the old beliefs and ideas gone, the base of their ethics and ideology will be gone, and that's when he come into play. He will brainwash them causing them to enter the patriotic frenzy. Also as people do this they feel patriotic towards him giving him more power.

  7. Christian,

    I really liked your post. I think that the way you answered the questions bringing up a lot of points and ideas made it really good but I wish you had put more background information on the setting of the book. Because I have not yet read Red Scarf Girl I did not quite understand fully what the conflict between Ji-li and her father really is. I think that you should have at least stated the main thing that is causing this daughter vs. father encounterment so that we can get a better idea of what you are talking about.