Question. How does the protagonist change from the beginning to the end of the novel? What does this character learn about himself (or herself) and about how the world works?
Starting off, the protagonist before chapter 13 was about Ji Li Jiang learning about herself, and learning why she was so specially important due to the cultural revolution. I think the setting was mostly learning about herself in school, as in most people learn it by themselves after lots of failure like Buddha. But this was more "planned" because her family members would feel ashamed and disappointed because of teaching her lately. So she had more time to think about herself in school than with her family. Getting to the point, Ji Li's family wanted to keep their past as the prisoner, and the family members as guards for the prisoner. Which Ji Li became the prisoners friend and tried to get the prisoner out for herself. But the guards were strong enough to block her off. So she changed from shy and curios, to aggressive and with power. She wants to get that prisoner to get out so eagerly, because she wants to find out who it is.
Ji-Li Jiang, discovers new thinks about her family a little bit at a time for example on the book Ji-Li discovers that her grandfather was a landlord and her father was a rightist. Which gave her more information about how to get the prisoner out. Which gave her a whole new point of, "Who am I?" Now getting the information, she begins to think, "Who were we, were we also a wealthy family before?", " Would we have been the great history for China if Mao wasn't there?" That made her think that the world was fair to some people, and not to the others.