Chapters 1- 2
What themes have you gotten from the book so far?
The theme for this chapter is prejudice. It is prejudice because no matter what somebody's family history is or what their parents believe, you can't judge people by their family's history. In the first chapter Ji- Li is judged and severely made fun of because of her family's background when she doesn't even believe in capitalism.
One of the themes is how to overcome obstacles in tough times. For an example in the book Red Scarf Girl Chairman Mao makes life tough in china because of things called Four olds. Which doesn't allow any foreign things in China. She has to overcome these obstacles by sticking together with her family and not giving up. Another theme is how to deal with bullies and mean people at Ji Li's school. A mean person at her school is a kid named Du Hai.
What do you think Ji-li’s father means when he tells his daughter that she cannot audition for the Central Liberation Army Arts Academy because of “political considerations” and the “family’s background”? Do you think Ji-li understands what her father means? What gives you this impression?
There is something in their family background that contradicts Mao’s ideology. No, Ji-Li doesn’t understand because she stated, “Wow. You really scared me Dad.” She thought he was talking about passing the audition.
Ji-li describes her family as “lucky” and “special.” What evidence does she provide to support her view of her family as privileged?
Dad was a well-respected stage actor … Mom had been an actress … Grandma had graduated from a modern-style high school at a time when most girls did not go to school, and had even helped start the elementary school. They had a nanny – Song Po Po. They lived in a big building in one of Shanghi’s nicer neighborhoods. Their apartment was much bigger than most and even had a private bathroom unlike most other apartments. Her parents hosted “parties” on most Saturday evenings.
What were the “Four Olds”? Why did Chairman Mao want the Four Olds to be destroyed? What examples does Ji-li give of destroying the Four Olds?
Old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits.
Because these four olds were holding the country back from progress – only by moving beyond these old ways would the country become a strong, socialist country. Examples – superstition, respecting teachers, having a house keeper, using facial cream, having long hair