Sunday, February 8, 2015

Line Illuminator: Julianna Mello

Line #1: That year the Cultural Revolution Started.

This was the ending line of chapter one. In the prologue you can tell that Ji-li is a very optimistic girl. That is until I read this last line. She also informed the audience that at this time she was just 12 years old, which makes sense to me because usually the younger you are the happier. The line speaks out that she is positive although there’s going to be many difficulties in the way of her getting where she wants to be. The Cultural Revolution began in 1966 it was launched by China’s Communist leader Mao Zedong, organized to take charge over the Chinese government. The revolution then ended in 1976.  This gives me many clues on what the book is going to be about, it also intrigues me into wondering who a optimistic girl keeps positive in such a dark time.

Line #2:  Chairman Mao our beloved leader, smiled down at us from his place above the blackboard.

 I found this line very interesting as it tells me that she and the other children call their everyday teacher their beloved leader. I understand that in school the teacher is the classes leader but the way she states it is very different to what I may think. This may mean that in this time teachers had much more power over their students. As in their time school had very harsh punishments. Education has always been very important in some ways your life may depend on it. In many ways education is what helps human beings to move on with their lives. I believe in this. Although I also feel the teachers shouldn’t be called leaders in this context. 


  1. Juli, great post. I like dhow you put some historical content in your entry and how you said, in your first response: "she is positive although there’s going to be many difficulties in the way of her getting where she wants to be." I liked that, however, I think you should guide the reader a little bit more and explain to them where. Where does Ji-Li-Jiang want to be? We may already know since we are reading the book, however, what about people that are not? I think you should think deeper into that point because it was an awesome idea, and if you expand it a little more, I think that would help your post a lot.
    About your second line, I thought that what you said was very intriguing and I agreed with your opinion two. Why do the students even call their teacher their "leader"? "Leader"? Leader for what? For their learning? For their future? Are they that much of an influence for the education of these children? Well, of course, they are their teachers, in charge of their learning, but why make such a big deal out of it?
    Well anyways, good post, and thanks for taking my ideas to another level.

  2. Julie,

    Your post shows great depth and your opinion on the book, it was a really an interesting post to read.

    I find that Ji-Li Jiang does stay optimistic at the beginning but (since I've read ahead), Ji-Li Jiang starts to see the pessimist side of both the Cultural Revolution and China itself. (Also later in the book) she is put in a High School by Region, instead of going to the best High School in Shanghai, which she worked really hard for. I find that there are clearly plus and negatives about the Cultural Revolution, but she tried to stay optimistic. An example I've heard is Anne Frank, even with World War two and the Holocaust, she stayed positive and optimistic, looking through to the positives of the world.

    Overall, awesome post

  3. Hi Juli, good job on your post! I found it very interesting how you connected happiness with "that year the Cultural Revolution started". I think the quote shows that there will be many difficulties ahead of her. Also, from reading the two chapters I got out that she is ready to meet these challenges, and will over come the difficulties.

    About your second quote, I think it shows that their leader Mao, is very respected and people listen to him. Do you trust him? Or do you think he will do something that hurts China and it's citizens? I think Mao will end up doing something terrible to China near the middle or end of the book, and it will result in China's citizens doing a rebellion or something like that. Overall great post, thanks!

  4. I think you really went in depth with this post, good job. I have to agree with you. Ji-Li-Jiang is a very optimistic girl. I hope she can stay that way with everything that is happening around her. Being optimistic is having hope, not giving up, but when you are negative about things I have a feeling you are better of dead. I have to admit though, when you started talking about optimistic, it reminded me of Anne Frank, the girl who lived in the attic for 2 years and still had hope. I feel that later on in this book it would be a wonderful topic to compare both of them, because till now I have found some similarities between them. How about you? Following, on your second quote you made me see a different point. I hadn't compared the leader to a teacher. But, what you made me question you is: Do you think the man, leader, is doing any good to the society? Do you believe something bad is going to happen, and what? I would say yes, but not with the leader. I have a feeling Ji-Li-Jiang's family's past is going to reveal itself, and there are going to pass through a punishment. Probably going to be lower ranked in society, and will have to do the jobs no one wants. Like maybe clean the streets. What do you think will happen later on in the book?

  5. Juli,
    Great job on your post, it really pushed my thinking forward by showing me things I
    had not noticed before. I searched a little more on the internet about Mao and his power on everyone and learned that in China they have/had a really controlled system. I read an article saying that he only a short period of time ago the government permitted burgers in China and even said it was an invention of theirs! I learned that the China government was/is very serious about receiving information form the "outside areas". Additionally, when Sony Pictures launched the movie "The Interview" with James Franco and Seth Rogan, China threatened the viewers and the movies.