Sunday, May 17, 2015

Apply The Lesson, Please!

Red Scarf Girl
Ji-li Jiang
Week 5
Literary Analysis

Towards the beginning of the novel, when the main character, Ji-li, is still unclear about her family background and insecure about herself, she chooses to join his classmates in protesting, even though she knew it wasn't the appropriate thing to do. 
"The class was divided into two groups [...] The other group was going to challenge Jiang Xi-wen, an unpleasant woman who lived in a house behind the school yard. I was assigned to the group going to Jiang Xi-wen’s house. Of course, this was not a coincidence, not at all. They all knew that she was my relative."
This proves that she is as hurtful as the classmates she constantly criticises throughout  the whole book. Not only is she disrespecting her elders, but she's neglecting her values for a cause she's not passionate about. What this is showing is that in the beginning, she is unstable and unable to be herself in a world that's constantly trying to change her. She crumples at the sight of disapproval and her urge to fit in grows. So in order to do so, she believes she must change to be like everyone else even if it means pretending to be someone she's not.
She began to put the puzzle together that what she was
doing wasn't right. Also, she would never fit in because
she was different in a special way. 
Later, she finally begins to put the puzzle pieces together, she learns how hurtful those protest and da-zi-baos are by experiencing it herself. As two of her classmates write a spiteful one about her and post it on the school walls for everyone to see, she begins to understand that she shouldn't care about what others think about her. Obviously, she gets offended although she doesn't regret her actions. She is judged for simple things that would seem normal in our world today, such as her family background and being respectful to the teachers.
Ji-li had the opportunity to fail, by following the crowd
or take a risk and be who she truly was. 
On the other hand, her respect is rewarded when her teacher attempts to send her and her best friend to their dream university. Even though this dream is not accomplished, Ji-li finally realizes that she doesn't have to change, and she shouldn't allow people to judge her for her past because she can't change it. For example, her grandfather's job, there's no possible way for her to change the fact that he was a landlord. But what she can change is little things, such as s protesting against things she doesn't believe. She's not her past, therefore she shouldn't be judged for it. One can't erase their mistakes, but only learn from them. In order for Ji-li to have grown so much she had to have made silly mistakes such as hurting her aunt Jian Xi-wen and that lead to her taking new risks because in every mistake there's potential for growth. In the past, you learn the lesson, but in the future you apply it.

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