Saturday, February 7, 2015

Destroy The Four Olds!

The Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li-Jiang
Post by Isabel Kuiper
Illustrious Artist
Prologue, Chapters 1-2
Week 1
Feb 7th 2015

I drew this drawing to show the main topic of the chapter "Destroy the Four Olds" which were the four olds. In the book, Chairman Mao wants to remove all of the old ideas, old culture, old habits, and old customs. He said that the community will never succeed at building a strong socialist country until they destroy the four olds and establish the four news. In the beginning Mao and his supporters gathered young high schoolers; named as the "red guards" to destroy every remaining of the four olds. The example the book gives us is when Ji Li Jiang is walking home with her sister and walks upon two high schoolers cutting a mans to tight pants, and pointy shoes.  What the book explains to us is that: "tight pants and pointy shoes are what the Western bourgeoisie admire. For us proletarians they are neither good-looking nor comfortable. (Red Scarf Girl, pg.30)"
Following, old sayings are like spreading four olds. An example is saying Yang-san for umbrellas. Or "The Innocent Child Toy Shop" Innocent being a neutral word; lack of class awareness. Or saying "On the last Arithmetic test you only got twenty-six out of a hundred, and you said that your stupidity was due to your sins in a former life. Isn't that what you said? Isn't reincarnation a superstition? And you also said that the fortune teller told you 'small eyes, large fortune.' Isn't that four olds too? (Red Scarf Girl, pg. 36)
Furthering on this topic, listen to the teachers, listen to your parents, or having a housekeeper are all four olds. Having a housekeeper is an exploitation. Meaning you are a capitalist. 
These were the examples the book gave us. 
Moving on, when I read more about the Cultural Revolution, in BCC News, it said that schools, temples were also destroyed. And that this revolution lasted until 1976; after Mao's death his wife and three other men were blamed for the cultural revolution.


 I drew a few things that the "Red Scarf Girl" represented as a four olds; housekeeper, pointed shoes - tight pants, listening to your teachers-parents-fortune tellers and finally sayings. I created the "four olds" in bubble letters to really pop out, with an X to represent banned, with the examples on its tips. Four olds is in black and white to represent old. However the things that are banned I wanted it in a different color, so I choose red because thats usually is the color for wrong.  Lastly, the effect on the image makes the image look old; again representing the four olds for me. 

Could you relate to the image and compare it to the book? 

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