Sunday, September 7, 2014

Question Commander - Ivanna Hidalgo

Ivanna Hidalgo
Week 3 - Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9
Red Scarf Girl *A Memoir of a Cultural Revolution* by David Henry Huang

Question Commander
         While reading these chapters, I had some difficulties understanding some parts of the book. As a result, I wrote down some questions that I would like to answer myself.

Question #1
Apart from being China’s flag color, why is red based on most political concepts? Ex: Red Guard Committee, Red Child Toy Shop, Red Socialists/Communists. 

         In my opinion, China uses the concept “red” many times because it means blood and bravery. Obviously, that is ones opinion and not a fact; however, I can base all my knowledge on the books given information. Let’s start of with war. In this time period, there is many laws/rules that can lead to physical damage if broken or disobeyed. On page 159, Old Qian refused to give his bicycle to some Red Guards, making them beat up the old man. This reminds me of blood because there are just a few Chinese people who would risk almost anything to protect their own believes about Chairman Mao, etc. Therefore, there are many people risking lives to keep on believing on what they think is right. Further, this takes me to the idea of bravery. To me, the color red means bravery, apart from other vibrant, bold colors. Although, red is the color I feel strongest about. I think that by naming concepts with the word “red” in it makes it more powerful. For instance, the words Red Guard Committee sound stronger than Guard Committee. To conclude with, the color red represents a sign of virtue and potential.

Question #2
If some Chinese people thought that Chairman Mao was a bad influence to China, why didn’t they fight against him?

File:Chinese war.jpg
         While reading, I asked myself this question and thought that it was a very good one, but then I thought of the amount of power Chairman Mao had. If the Red Guards beat up an old man over a bicycle, then I imagine people would be killed if they protested against anything Chairman Mao believed in. Therefore, almost everyone would be scared to say something because there would be severe consequences. A lot of people had power over families with a lower class, like the Black Families. For example, the young people that declared if something was fourold had the right to wreck other people’s clothing and personal belongings. Afterwards, I realized how dangerous and suicidal things would get if people reveled against laws.

"Alternative History." Alternative History. Web. 07 Sept. 2014. <>.

Question #3
Were Black Families similar as having literal black families, back then?
         When I read more about the “Black Families”, it reminded me of slavery/prisoners. According to the book, these Black Families worked more than other families that were not classified as the Black Families. They had chores and work for them all day and seemed pretty much like slavery to me, since they checked up on them many times. The higher-class people checked if they did their work properly or wisely. Something I thought was interesting was that African American people were judged by their skin color, calling it racism. In the United States, black people had to work and depend on white people to eat, dwell, and live happily. Just like the Black Families worked and had chores to take care of as a punishment for being related to Landlords, etc. Overall, Black Families were similar to the colored people’s life condition.

"SHOCK DATA: More Blacks in Jail Today than Slaves in America’s Past." The Natural Independent. Web. 07 Sept. 2014. <>.


  1. Ivanna I totally agree with you, I still think that you should use more complex words, but other than that it was pretty good. I really liked the way you answered the second question, and how you uses a lot of details. Keep up the good work.

  2. Ivanna, I agree with your idea behind the use of red in China and in communism. Many believe that the red in communist flags, and symbols represents the hard effort and "blood" spilled by the working class as they toiled under harsh conditions and environments. Basically, the red is honoring the suffering and sacrifices of those who worked very hard to make the lives of others better. One of communism's core beliefs is that everyone is equal and nobody has more than the next person. Many communist movements in different countries (such as the one that led to the creation of the People's Republic of China), are focused on uniting different classes and changing the way people think about personal belongings and property. The famous sickle and hammer used during the Russian Revolution and in Soviet Russia as iconic symbols actually represents the unity between the industrial and agricultural workers' classes.

  3. Ivanna, I agree with what you said about the color red but I would like to remind you about something. I am not sure if you remember, but in the beginning of the book Ji-Li was talking about how Chairman Mao told the people that the Chinese flag was stained red with the blood of the martyrs that worked hard to create China. I would also like to respond about how you thought black families were just like the black slaves. I see a very big difference. Even though the black families were discriminated by their political stand point, not all of them were persecuted like their distant cousin. All of the blacks were enslaved, not just specific people.

  4. Ivanna,

    Your post is great! For the first question, I completely agree with you. I think that the red has been tied in a lot throughout the book. Also, I wonder if red is supposed to strike fear in Mao's opponents. I can connect to your post, because for futsal in P.E. I chose the color red to represent bravery and fierceness. I think that this bold color gave the same perception to us and many others. Do you think there are other colors that give people similar perceptions, or different? You thoroughly answered the first part which I think was great. For the second question, I was wondering the same thing. If so many people are against him, why don't they rebel? However, I realized that there are so many Red Guards and people on Mao's side that they would be outnumbered. I agree that people were treated very unfairly, and shouldn't be persecuted for their beliefs. Finally for the third question, I agree with you that the way "black families" in China are treated is similar to the way black families were treated in the U.S. In addition, I think that people should not be classified by the families they are in, because it is not their faults that certain things happened in the past. They should be classified, if at all, by themselves, for what they do, and how they act. One thing that I would suggest is changing the font. This is because, it was kind of hard for me to read. Otherwise, fantastic job, you enhanced my thinking a lot.