Sunday, March 8, 2015

Literary Analysis by Giulia Di Bella

Week 4
March 8th, 2015
Chapters 10-11-12

Your Choice Over The Majority's

As it is clearly shown, the protagonist of the book, The Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li-Jiang, made a decision or a choice that was or could have been seen from one's point of view as very controversial. This was when Ji-Li-Jiang, took her decision to not make any personal or originally created da-zi-baos against her teachers, not because she didn't want to, but because she couldn't.

"“I just can’t think of anything to write,” I complained. “Neither can we. I might as well just give up.” An Yi put her brush down and stretched. “Hey, everybody has to write something. You’re no exception. Do you want everyone to think you have a bad political attitude?” ZhangJie was joking, but it made us think. “Why don’t we go out to the playground to see what everybody else is writing?” Zhang Jie went on. “It’s better to copy something than not to write anything at all. What do you say?”" (Unkown page: pdf) (Chapter: Writing Da-Zi-Bao)

Later on:

"The more I read, the more puzzled I became. Did the teachers really intend to ruin our health and corrupt our minds? If so, why hadn’t I ever noticed? Was I so badly taken in that I was unable to see them for what they really were? I remembered Du Hai’s taunt.You “teachers’ obedient little lamb.” I thought of Teacher Gu, who was like a stern but loving mother to me. I thought of An Yi’s mother,Teacher Wei, who had won so many Model Teacher awards because of her dedication to her work. No matter how I tried, I just could not relate them to the villains described in the da-zi-bao. To ful-ll my responsibility as a revolutionary, I listed all my teachers. One by one, I considered them carefully. Unfortunately, none of them seemed to hate the Party or oppose Chairman Mao. I could not write a da-zi-bao about any of them." (Unkown page: pdf) (Chapter: Writing Da-Zi-Bao)

As we could see on these quotes from the book, Ji-Li-Jiang, the protagonist, believes that the teachers didn't do anything wrong or shouldn't be punished by their students for any reasons because she was very close to her teachers and saw them almost as friends. Specially Teacher Wei and Gu, after all they had done for her. Others, actually saw that as an action of an "attention seeker" or someone that would just stick to the teachers to get better grades. Many may totally disagree with them and stick on to Ji-Li's side because after getting to know her better throughout this book, her intentions get clear; she just wants to follow the rules and get on everyones good side. On the quotes above, we can see that most children don't really know what's going on and are just all in all shaky about this whole this and just doing it because everyone else is doing it. Also, on the last quote, it is definetly clear that Ji-Li, was not able to write a self-created and original da-zi-bao.
It is also clear and easy to see and understand that her actions where justified because even though she wanted to follow the rules and get rid of "Fourolds" and all, she still followed her guts and personal instincts and stuck to her opinion. She justified that she didn't write an original and self-created da-zi-bao because she was on the teacher's side too. In fact, she actually wrote a real da-zi-bao, just to fit in and not be judged or criticized by her class mates and friends, in the end. Here, one can see that Ji-Li, even if she did not agree with the new "revolution ideals", she still contributed and wrote on a da-zi-bao to show that she's loyal to her countries orders, laws, and ideas. Back on that time, the ruler, also known as Chairman Mao, wanted to eliminate all "fourolds", that, according to Wikipedia were "Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas; Four-Olds" (Wikipedia). These things could be found on books, schools, closets, languages, and even just on actions of the people. And on that time, they all had to be eliminated for the countries own good. 
          In conclusion, many might think that Ji-Li's choice of not creating a self-thought da-zi-bao against her teacher because she didn't believe it was the right thing to do, was a great choice and idea to have thought of. While others, (this is where the controversial parts joins in) may think that it was the wrong choice to have made. That she should have created something original and self-created to show her real support and belief towards the ruler and leader of China. In the end, it depends on who's that person and if she/he believes that eliminating all "fourolds" is right or not. However one thing is for sure, Ji-Li-Jiang was very brave to have stuck in to her opinion rather than to just have gone with what her ruler and all her friends and classmates had thought for as "ideals". 

                                                                      Picture Citation:
"4 Olds." 4 OLDS. N.p., 6 Dec. 2014. Web. 8 Mar. 2015. <>.

Work Cited:
1. "Four Olds." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2015. <>.

2. "Chinese Cultural Revolution." BBC News. BBC, 5 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2015. <>

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