“STRUGGLE AGAINST ONESELF; CRITICIZE REVISIONISM” (p. 144) was a slogan often used during the Great Cultural Revolution. In reality, the Cultural Revolution was not great at all. It was an unwarranted attack on personal freedoms of China’s people. The Chinese fought themselves, they even acknowledged it as a “struggle.” They looked upon this struggle as part of the great Cultural Revolution.
At age 3, a boy should not be held accountable for his parents political status. Yet, Liang Heng was. One mistake on his mother’s, Yan Zhi-de, behalf changed his life forever. Yan Zhi-de uttered the words that the leaders of the Party would not listen to the masses’ opinions when it came time to give raises. This led the Party to label her a “rightist.” What began as the “Hundred Flowers Movement” quickly changed to the “Anti-Rightist Movement,” leading many to the path of poor political “performance.” In turn, disgracing her family members, she was sent to become a peasant. For the rest of her life, Yan Zhi-de remained a peasant.
After this incident, Liang Heng, Liang Wei-Ping, and Liang Fang had been labeled “Rightist’s children.” Though each of the children attempted to fit in, the other students picked fights with Liang Heng and the children never had the opportunity to join the Red Guards. Not until Liang Heng tricked his way into being admitted into the group. Liang Heng saw many different aspects of the Cultural Revolution. He became a student, a peasant, a basket ball player, factory worker, and finally an intellectual (writer.) Liang Heng had been falsely accused of many crimes throughout his life, and he held his ground firmly.
Fate had another choice for Liang Fang. Though she would try desperately to join the Communist Youth League, she was never able to. However, she did join the Red Guards and later became a Rebel. Ultimately, she ended up as a peasant until her mid-twenties. Liang Wei-Ping joined the “Educated Youth” which was the determining factor that led her to become a peasant.
Liang Shan had one of the most miserable situations out of the entire family. Once his wife had been declared a “rightist,” he immediately attempted to break off all relations with her. This was unsuccessful. Everything in his life went downhill from there. He was publicly humiliated and suffered mental torture due to the fact that he had to criticize himself. Liang Shan was sent to a re-education center for a number of years, then spending the rest of his days in the countryside. He eventually had a stroke and lost the abilities of his left side.
The Cultural Revolution was a serious mistake. A mistake that took many happy homes and destroyed them. Neglecting to seriously care about the people of his country, Chairman Mao started a disaster. Thankfully, this disaster ended with his death. That allowed people to live somewhat normal lives, compared to the horrible lives the lower class was forced to live during the Cultural Revolution.