Monday, March 9, 2015

Marina Dissinger- Historical Context

Marina Dissinger
Red Scarf Girl
Historical Context

Why was this book controversial?  Which themes or ideas were challenging to society?


In the book “Red Scarf Girl”, written by Ji- Li Jiang, the theme that is challenging would have to be the Fourolds. In China, Chairman Mao was promoting the idea that you have to destroy the four olds (old customs, old culture, old habits and old ideas) and make China more modern (Scholastic). Traditions were broken, and all of the things that belonged to people which were considered a part of the Fourolds were confiscated by the Red Guards or destroyed by the families before the Red Guards could take them. The Four Olds were replaced by the Four News. For example, in the book, Ji Li's grandmother had received many beautiful wedding gifts, such as dresses, and they had to make rags out of them to make it seem like they didn't have any fancy belongings (Ji- Li, 84). If the Red Guards caught one with bourgeois accessories, they were confiscated immediately, and it made their family look really bad. The action of destroying the Fourolds was very controversial because part of the population still wanted the olds, but a lot wanted the new way of life. 

A controversial thing in the book is how Chairman Mao wanted to change from a Communist country to a socialist country. This change made the economy very, very unstable, almost like the Argentinean economy was for a while (InfoPlease). Since there was no money, the companies could not function. And, without companies, there were no jobs, thus lowering the overall money value.

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