Sunday, September 14, 2014

Word Whisperer #4- Sophia S.

I was the Word Whisperer and the pages might be off because I used the online book.

Imagery: "His writing was beautiful and powerful, and the lively and vigorous flourishes in his calligraphy awed us. His handwriting and his voice revealed two completely different personalities." (pg. 227)  I chose this image because it really describes Ji-Li's homeroom teacher in Junior High. At first she was super excited than she saw she had no friends in her class and her teacher was completely different from all the other ones she had. I can also consider this foreshadowing because this book has a tendency to make some situation or someone sound really good or bad but then in later in the book they turn out something totally different. I think this is one of those situations because she makes him seem like he has two personalities one is nice one is mean. Probably at first he is going to seem mean but then later he might have an impact on Ji-Li.

Rhetorical Question: "What mistakes had Dad made, other than having a landlord for a father? Could he really be a rightist after all?" (pg. 236)  This question really described what I have been predicting for a very long time. My first post was predicting that her dad did something bad and that is why he does not agree with Chairman Mao. I researched what was a rightist was because it does not really explain it. All we know is that they are almost as bad as being a landlord which is pretty bad. So it pretty much said that when I researched that. They would get punished in front of everyone. In the book they did that. I think that her dad was having a hard time at work because his dad was a landlord. Just like Ji-Li when she was being bullied because her grandpa was a landlord and that was when her life was really going downhill. Maybe the same is happening to her dad. I think that Ji-Li is scared because the same happened to her aunt. Also she saw Old Quian out in the sun and she is probably scared they they are going to find out about her dad, if he is a rightist.

This is a picture of landlords being punished
Foreshadowing:I opened the door, happy to see him. "“Uncle Fan, it’s so late— Oh my!” I stopped when I saw his face. It was swollen, bruised, and bloody. Standing in the dark doorway, he looked like a monster. He swayed back and forth weakly, and as I stared, his face crumpled into tears. I turned away and ran to my bed." (pg. 246). I chose this quote because already from this sentence you could tell what happened. Her Uncle was beaten because of one of the five black crimes, just like her aunt. Except her aunt was beaten. You could tell because Ji-Li ran to her bed. Chairman Mao is someone who she admires along with her Uncle. And when one of her inspirations did this to someone who she deeply cares about. From the looks of it she handled it pretty badly with her crying to her bad. I wonder why Ji-Li still hasn't noticed that Chairman Mao is a bad person and is targeting her family. Her dad is having a pretty bad time and her might be next. Then what will she do? What do you think?

Metaphor: In other years on New Year’s morning the streets would be littered with shreds of colored firecracker paper. Soon after breakfast people loaded with gifts would begin to stream out of their homes to wish friends and relatives a happy New Year. This year firecrackers were
fourolds, and few people were in the mood to celebrate. Streets were so quiet that the city
seemed almost deserted." (pg. 255) Chinese New Year is supposed to be one of the most anticipated days of the year in China. It is full of color and spirit. So many people come to watch the parades and they are all full of energy. But with the Cultural Revolution and Chairman Mao it seems empty and boring. People admire him but what would happen if he took away the most festive day of the year for the Chinese people? Would they rebel? No, because they are so blinded by the things he has done that they hadn't even noticed that he took away Chinese New year and the colors that it brought. To be honest I think that people are just scared that they will get killed so they just do what he tells them to do. If that means to give up Chinese New year than they will. So even with her family being targeted and her dad being locked up Ji-Li still supports Chairman Mao. 

This is how the  Chinese New Year was before the Cultural Revolution


  1. Sophia,

    First off, I'd like to compliment your post, I really, really liked reading it!

    I really enjoyed what you put on imagery because not only do I agree with it but I feel like I can add on to it, because people can be two-faced, three-faced, etc. and let's face it, it's hard to notice if someone is fake when you only just met them. I really felt sorry for Ji-li, because she was so excited for her first day of school and now her teacher is just...revolting.

  2. Personally, I am confused by Ji-Li's homeroom teacher. There are times when he seems like a nice person or a slightly insane teacher. I think that there is a much larger conflict taking place inside of his mind than he lets on. To me, Teacher Zhang is one of those people who do not see or ignore the violence of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. All he does is follow orders given to him by the Red Guards and the Communist Party without a word of protest. However, the harsh reality of the violence of the revolution was quickly setting in as the lessons progressed. To quote the novel, "In the first class Teacher Zhang had told us that in order to integrate all aspects of our study with the revolution and to prepare for war, we would learn military and political terms first." Clearly, this is a prime example of how even the "blindest" followers were realizing what was happening. According to history, schools in China were closed for most of the revolution, but learning and teaching were destroyed by Mao Ze-Dong way before. For example, learning English grammar was substituted by memorizing scattered and useless phrases. Textbooks were replaced by mimeograph handouts. Even science classes were thrown out the window and substituted by "Fundamentals of Industry and Agriculture" classes.