Monday, September 8, 2014

Question Commander Week 3

Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang

Chapter 6-9

1. Do other nations know the incident happening in China? If they do, why do they not help them?

For this, maybe, other nations knew this problem. However, it was very unlikely that any would help if we understand the time period. The event happened in 1966, about 13 years after the Korean War, where the US and the UN forces, and China with Russia divided Korea into two countries after their fight. So the US and China aren't BFF's. So, the countries wouldn't help China when China is in danger.

2. Why is the color red used in many thing in China?

In my opinion, I think red is used in many things because it represents many things. First of all, I think it represents blood and bravery. China had a revolution and has a humungus army. Secondly, red in China means good luck. So for the good luck of the Chinese, I think they use red.

3. If Ji-li sees violence and torture, why does she continue to support the revolution?

This question is interesting because there may be many possible answers. However, I think there are only two strong reasons. First reason is that she might be "brainwashed." Even if someone thinks and knows that something is wrong, if everyone around him or her does that, she might think it is right, and she was wrong. This happens everywhere, in schools, houses, and anywhere where many people are sharing their opinions. For example, some students think that homework is very useful in both improving his skills and for teachers to check the students' skills. However, if everyone around him influences him by saying and showing why they think homework is bad and useless, then he might change his opinion to fit in the opinion of his friends. The second one is very unlikely, but she might be "enjoying" it. Some psychopaths or sociopath doesn't feel emotion or enjoys watching someone else suffer. However, I won't go in detail, since this is very unlikely.


  1. To Hong,

    I also had similar questions while reading this rotation's chapters and I think I will answer questions 1 and 3.

    Question 1: Since the communist party in China came to power in 1949, China has been a communist and socialist nation, though it is sometimes described as authoritarian and corporatist. Nowadays, there are still many heavy restrictions in China on the people. These restrictions mainly fall under free access to the internet, freedom of press, free creation of organizations, the right to have children and freedom of religion. Personally, I believe similar forms of restrictions on the Chinese population were in place during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, since the government interfered with the citizen's lives to an even greater extent. Of course, certain neighboring nations and groups must have had knowledge of the horrors going on inside of China. However, any attempts to interfere were probably stopped either through fear of being counterattacked or by the killing and capturing of spies (as described on page 104).

    Question 3: To me, I think there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Personally, I believe that Ji-Li has had the communist party's ideals hammered into her head all her life by teachers, mentors and friends, causing her to become "brainwashed". Although she does feel scared, shocked and ashamed at times, there is always that subconscious feeling that everything is okay and that Chairman Mao is a great leader and a blessing to China. Even though her own family is considered "four olds", she still thinks that other "four old" families "had it coming". I find it fascinating how Ji-Li still finds Chairman Mao to be a good person instead of a communist extremist and even memorizes paintings and tales about the Chairman's heroics. For example, when describing the story behind the Mao Ze-Dong On His Way to Anyuan painting, she even says that she is "ready to follow him anywhere" (Page 101).

    This idea of being "brainwashed" into nearly worshipping the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and following it blindly can even be related to our everyday life in São Paulo (on a much smaller scale). People around us are always telling us to be careful not to drive into a favela, not to trust a GPS too much, to avoid walking at night, to keep everything valuable in our pockets, to be aware of our surroundings at all times, to not pull out phones in the street, etc. We have heard these warnings so often that we do not even think when doing them. These precautions are basically automatic. We only realize how blindly we are following these safety orders when we go to other countries and are the only ones looking behind us every ten seconds to see if anyone is there. I myself have experienced this and am sometimes surprised when I am the only one in a group that is unnerved at walking outside when it's dark.

  2. To Hong,

    I really liked your questions, because they helped me think further. I would like to start off saying that I agree with your answer on the first question that the UN and US forces weren't friends/allies with China at that period of time, but I have one question for you based on that. Don't you think that the UN and US forces weren't the only ones aware of that situation? Anyone could have come to help, not only them, right? Anyways, there is something I've been wanting to add your answer for question number two. Another reason why they use red for most things is because of their country's flag, to honor it, and the country. I was reading it, when I had the idea, then I saw that you put an image, but you didn't write anything, so that made me wonder if you had thought of that. Last, but not least, I thought your third question was the best one to help me think through what I read in the book, and take another look at it. What I think is that there are so many things around her that influence her mind into thinking that Mao Ze-Don was a great guy, and that he was the one to follow. That happened to everyone, he made them think that he was the one to go after, that he was the one to follow. Although, she did have times where she could've just pretended to like the way people were being treated. First, it was when she saw the man with the pointy shoes being somehow "assaulted" by the high school students. Nest, it was when she saw the da-zi-bao about the teachers she knew were innocent, and that they had no bad intentions, especially when she saw one about herself, and knew she had no intentions in being "against the law". My question now is: why didn't she just let go of the new changes, and forgot about it? Keep up the good work!