Week 3 - Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9
Red Scarf Girl *A Memoir of a Cultural Revolution* by David Henry Huang
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.
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.
If some Chinese people thought that Chairman Mao was a bad influence to China, why didn’t they fight against him?
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. <http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page>.
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. <http://www.naturalindependent.com/archives/6863/data-more-blacks-in-jail-today-than-slaves-in-americas-past/>.