Red Scarf Girl
By Jiang Ji-Li
Chapters 3, 4 & 5
As should be done for every single book, I am highlighting some lines in Red Scarf Girl by Jiang Ji-li that appear very contributions to the understanding and perspective of the novel.
“I lay contentedly my arms as the rain washed away my humiliation and shame“ (Jiang 55)
In this passage Jiang Ji-Li is going through a depression because of the da-zi-bao that was written about herself and the favoritism some teachers showed towards her. I was thrilled to discover that such thing could cause tremendous shock on a little girl. Behind this words, lay the whole experience that Ji-Li experienced during the Cultural Revolution in China, about her grandfather being a Landlord and what people were expected to act or even to think in this new society. Ji-Li herself said at the beginning of the novel that she considered herself the happiest girl on earth before all the life-changing events happened, though she doesn't blame the Revolution or Mao Zedong for her misery, on the contrary, she fully supports the idea of a proletarian country. As the Revolution continues Ji-Li faces more and more troubles, even so she always holds tight her red scarf.
“Landlords! […] The number one enemies, the worst of the Five Black Categories“ even worse than criminals or counter revolutionaries!“
In this text Ji-Li found out that her grandpa was a Landlord. Even though died years ago Ji-Li was borned her classmates and teachers inquire severely in her class status and her family´s traits. Discovering this issue prevent Ji-Li from becoming a Red Successor and contributing to the Cultural Revolution. What I found especially interesting in this passage is what implies being a Landlord at that time; the Landlords were known for manipulating and exploiting the farmers, though they were consider worse that criminals, meaning that the human rights were valued more than any material object. The tricky part is that people valued more being a farmer or someone poor that having lots of money (completely opposite from the world we live in today in several countries) and living in a house of their own or possessing a big bed was such a problem. This brings Ji-Li to conflict again, she comes from a wealthy family and the new ideology that the Cultural Revolution introduced to the people, made her wish she was born in someone else´s family.