Monday, May 4, 2015

Alicia Historical Context

Red Scarf Girl

Ji-Li Jiang

Historical Context

What is the cultural and educational background of the author and how did this background influence the book?  In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author’s world view?

            In the novel, Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang, the protagonist is Ji-Li herself, and she tells her own story about how she survived the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Ji-Li wanted to audition to be a dancer for the Central Liberation Army Arts Academy and become a Red Successor, but was unable to do so because her grandfather had been a landlord (meaning he had owned his own property, which was an anticommunist act.) According to my research, her family was considered "black", which was the opposite of "red", the color of communism. (Wikipedia) Ji-Li doesn't audition, and has to deal with her mean classmates saying things about her and her family.

           Ji-Li Jiang was born in Shanghai in 1954, and published Red Scarf Girl in 1998. As mentioned before, this book was written based on her own experiences in the Chinese Cultural Revolution as someone who had a "black" family. She was influenced to write the book because she wanted to 
"expand the literature connection between China and the United States" and she thought that Red Scarf Girl would help with that (Wikipedia.) Her world view now isn't really revealed, but the reader can infer that she is no longer a communist (I couldn't find which governmental system she currently believes in.)

Ji-Li then and now

"Ji-li Jiang." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 May 2015.

1 comment:

  1. Alicia,
    I really appreciate the research you did to increase our background knowledge of the novel. Don´t you think that is amazing how the author changed her perspective from the beginning to the end of the novel? I mean, at the beginning of it Ji-Li thought she couldn´t agree kore with the proletarian ideas and she seemed to be embarrassed because of the family she was born in. Though as the novel advances, she realizes that the fault of her misery lays in the cultural revolution. So, I think that this novel shows how a childhood can be changed so drastically in such a short period of time.

    Good job,