- How does the protagonist change from the beginning to the end of the novel? What does this character learn about himself (or herself) and about how the world works?
In the beginning of the novel, the reader can infer that Ji-Li is a "normal" girl, who always does what she is told, has a good amount of friends, and excels in school. Towards the end of the book, Ji-Li still does what she must do to be safe in the Revolution, but she has many doubts and thoughts that would be considered bad in her society.
Ji-Li knows that the Revolution is good for her country and she wants to help and be a part of it, but she disagrees and dislikes some of the conditions because it affects her friends and family. For example, Ji-Li wanted to be a red guard, but she was also sad that her family had to burn the pictures, which were considered four-olds. Other things also happened that were worse, like her friend's grandmother killing herself and other people close to her were put to work on the streets and were beaten. Lastly, when the guards came in and raided her house, and even took her precious stamp collection, Ji-Li was miserable. These events cause Ji-Li a great distress, and she gets more confused the more she thinks about what is happening. To conclude, Ji-Li knew in the beginning exactly what she wanted to do in life, and everything was fine, but as the "revolutionary events" went on, she started having doubts about wether the Revolution was actually a good thing.