Sunday, April 26, 2015

Inspiration = Determination

Historical Context

"This award-winning memoir of a shattered childhood recalls a haunting time which chills the soul. At almost every turn, we listen to the heart-pounding struggle of a little girl, and her struggle between her belief in Chairman Mao and the Communist Party, and her beloved family " (SOURCE).

Chairman Mao.

Chinese Cultural Revolution 1966-76

Red Scarf Girl, written by Ji-li Jiang, is a memoir written about her own experiences while facing the various struggles that made up her childhood, for she was young and didn't understand much about the Chinese Cultural Revolution. This revolution began when Ji-li was only twelve, and by the time she was twenty-two it was finally over. As a result, the vast majority of her childhood was lived under the political movements that Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China decided to imply in China. His objective was to purge all communists and traditional elements from his society because they didn't fit in with the "true" Communist ideology (SOURCE). This caused the Jiang, and thousands of other families throughout China to be binded from their everyday routines. Such things using face cream, having long hair, having a housekeeper, using old Chinese words, respecting teachers, having a store with a name that demanded progress or wealth, being superstitious, dressing with the old fashion were all prohibited and a punishment was earned if caught. All of these simple, but common elements of "the old Chinese Culture" made part of Ji-li's life, and couldn't simply be left behind and forgotten. This could've inspired her to write about the struggle of trying to conform in a society that doesn't give its people the liberty of choosing the way they want to live their lives. By establishing this rule during the revolution, Ji-li was influenced to share her story of how she was a survivor. Now, she's happily living in the USA, having won various awards such as Best Books for Young Adults,1998 Parents' Choice Gold Award, 1998 Books of Distinction, along with thirteen more, just for Red Scarf Girl (Source). In conclusion, as she shared her story with the world, she inspired people throughout the world to keep looking forward because it does get better.

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