Red Scarf Girl
By Jiang Ji-Li
Chapters 10, 11 & 12
“The melted ice dripped down the window slowly and crookedly like tears“ (Jiang 183).
When his father was detained, Ji-Li felt like her world was falling apart. She didn't want to think about what was going to happen to him or was was going to be the fate of her family. The author of this novel wants to show us with a metaphor how she felt inside after this series of unfortunate events happened. The sadness of this family was incredibly big and, I we consider the great impact the Cultural Revolution had on China is considerable that many other families went through similar situations. Is perfectly clear that a huge percentage of the Chinese population disagreed in this new set of ideas and laws, though it was impossible to fight against the Chairman and his Red Army, almost like a dystopian society.
“I heard the distant whistle of a passing train, and I wished I could get on it and go far away, to a place without struggle, without class, without confessions“ (Jiang 185).
After Ji-Li sees her own mom collapse of illness and depression she thinks that there was nothing else to fight for, she wanted to ran away and never be seen again. In this passage of the book we find out that the most Ji-Li knows about her class status the more she wants to avoid it. She thinks that her family is the reason of her main conflicts, though, we as readers, know that any issues presented for a 14-year-old girl at that time period, were just because of this new communist ideas. This narrative tells us the story of a little afraid girl like you and me that had a tough childhood, almost to tough to be lived. Although, at the end of our story we know that this girl becomes a strong woman and maybe… just maybe… what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
“I watched her doll like figure retreating through the cold wind, and somehow I felt much warmer“ (Jiang 194).
In Junior High Ji-Li feels so much better, so much appreciated and free. She gets to meet new people and have a fresh start. One day she is visited by a friend and she trusts her telling her that her dad has been imprisoned, as she knows someone she can lean on, she feels safer and easier. During the Cultural Revolution there is few people that are willing to accept fellows and not just judge them, Ji-Li knows that, since her class status haunts her everywhere she goes. This feeling of “warm“ that surrounds her is probably something that she hasn't feel in a long time.
"'He knew that he would be detained sooner or later. He told me not to worry too much.' Grandma's voice was steady, but her tears kept dropping on my hand."
This quote is what I call a foreshadowing because it gives a warning or indication of a future event. In other words, Jiang Ji-Li's father warned their family about his arrest without being saying direct words. I consider this an interesting use of foreshadow because it was not only warning his family, but also warning the people that lived around him, as well as his environment. People that knew him had the possibility to confront the Red Guards. As a result, Jiang Ji-Li's father knew himself that no matter how contradicting he was against his own believes he would be detained. Now, I realize that the meaning of this stylistic device conveys a message of not only warning the people that are really close to you is important towards the future, but the people that surround you everyday. Further, the effect that this device gave me took me back to understanding the core values. The first core value that I thought of was responsibility, meaning doing an act of honesty and integrity. To me, this represented an act of responsibility because he didn't think of himself at that moment, but instead thought of his loved people. From this, I can tell that foreshadowing will always say something about a person, whether it's a good thought or a bad one.