Monday, September 8, 2014

Rotation #3 - Role #4 - Question Commander - Chloé

1. Why would papers used for letters be considered a Four Old if it was a good way of communication?

When the Red Guards broke in Ji-li's house they got her papers from her collection for the inspection I got confused. It used to be the most efficient way of communication in the 60's, so I don't understand why was it considered something for inspection.

I chose this image because it represents one collection of paper used for letters, kind of like the one Ji-li has but more modern.

2. If Ji-li's family knew that the objects and clothes they had were Four Olds why did they not turn these things in before if they knew their house could be inspected?

In the book Ji-li's family started painting old boxes and cutting and sewing old clothes because they were considered Four Olds. But when Ji-li asked if they couldn't turn these things in they said they couldn't because it was too late. So I don't understand why they couldn't turn these things in before so they wouldn't need to destroy them.


I chose this image because it represents one of the clothes that Ji-li's mom and grandmother had to cut and sew again because it was a Four Old.


  1. I'm not sure but I think the papers weren't considered fourolds it was the stamps that were glued to them. I don't think turning their objects in because just the fact that they have stuff like that would convince the red guards to keep and eye on them. Think like this. Someone in your class lost a pencil. And you have it, If you give it to them they will think that you steal stuff. Even if the objects were from Ji-Li's family, if they handed it in it would be suspicious for the red guards.

  2. Question 2. If Ji-li's family knew that the objects and clothes they had were Four Olds why did they not turn these things in before if they knew their house could be inspected?

    In my opinion, I think that they wanted to keep their tradition in what they wore. But it is still a mystery to me why they did not burn or hide the clothes. Moving on, I find it a total absurd what the government is doing. People can't wear their what they want when the want because they are considered four olds. Isn't this ridiculous, do you agree with me?

  3. Chloe, for question one, I think you might mean the stamps taken from Ji-li's stamp collection, but I think they are considered fourolds because even though they are used for communication, keeping them could make them be considered fourolds, since Chairman Mao was against keeping certain things and stamps could be one of those.

    As for question two I think they didn't turn them in because it could lead to many other things such as Ji-li's family being imprisoned, beaten or even killed because of keeping those fourolds. We need to remember that the time in which you turn things in counts for something, so personally, I think they did the right things turning the clothes into something else.

  4. Chloe,
    To begin with, I think that the first image was great. On the other hand, I don't really agree that the red guards were going for the papers, yet for the pictures of others, and that was a four old. Pushing this further, the red guards had to burn the pictures because of the new rules made by Chairman Mao. Next, I think that Ji-li's family didn't give the things because they said that only maybe the red guards would come and inspect them, and because they would try to hide what they really love, such as the stamp book that Ji-li loved. Do you think that she will be able to get any four olds and hide them or not?

  5. Chloe,

    To me, all of your images felt really right and expressive to me. I wanted to clarify some of your answers because I might have an answer that can help you understand the book better. For question #1, you asked why were letters so fourold. The government thought that there were many other ways of communication, and sending letters wasn't on of them, or at least wasn't the best choice. To us, it might seem a little bit more normal since it was a used source in the 60's, as you said; however, I can connect back then to now because we have technology. Further, our source of technology limits our paper and pencil resources. With technology, letters seem just like being fourold because it's not something common or used anymore. Additionally, I wanted to discuss your question #2. You explanation made me think more and develop my ideas when you mentioned about refusing to give fourold objects in time. In detail, the Red Guards didn't let anybody turn anything in because they were so fast and rushed at doing things. My point is Ji-Li's family never had the chance to turn anything fourold. If they would have had time, they wouldn't give up the important objects because they mean something that couldn't be bared to let go. In conclusion, your questions seemed very critical thinking, and it certainly made me make some reflections!