Red Scarf Girl Essay

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Chinese Youth became mean and family disowning because Mao Zedong brainwashed them. This happened during the Cultural Revolution which was launched in 1966 by Mao and ended in 1976 after Mao’s death. Mao Zedong was leader of the Chinese Communist party. The expressed purpose of the Cultural Revolution that caused the brainwashing was to help the poor and the working class. The actual purpose was for Mao to rise his fame and make people listen to whatever he says. In the Cultural Revolution, Mao targeted certain types of people.

These people were were called black categories and there are nine of them. They are landlords, counterrevolutionaries, rich peasants, criminals, rightists, traitors, former agents, capitalist supporters, and intellectuals. Intellectuals were targeted the most because they could think for themselves and that was prohibited by Mao. The youth were easily brainwashed because they are naive. The Chinese Youth were swept up in the Cultural Revolution because Mao told them to be patriotic, that they will get justice, and they will have recognition.

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The Chinese youth wanted to rebel against authorities because of the propaganda that was posted everywhere during Cultural Revolution which told them about justice. In the memoir At the center of the storm, Rae Yang says “ Now the time had come for the underdogs to speak up, to seek justice! Immediately, I took up a brush pen, dipped it in black ink and wrote a long dazibao. Using some of the rhetorical devices Teacher Lin had taught us, I accused her of lacking proletarian feeling toward her students, of treating them as her class enemies, of being high-handed, and of suppressing different opinions” (Yang).

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Yang is talking about humiliating her teacher by writing a dazibao which is a poster to humiliate others. She is happy to do it because she will get freedom if she rebels against authorities. Another example of a dazibao is in the book Red Scarf Girl when Jiang says “There were a lot of dazibao about my mom too. They said she was a monster and a class enemy” (Jiang, 51). Jiang is talking about her friend An Yi who was saying her mom has lots of dazibao written about her calling her a class enemy. Students write this about teachers a lot because teachers are intellectuals. Another example in Red Scarf Girl is “The classrooms buzzed with revolutionary fervor. Students spread large sheets of paper on desks and gathered around, eagerly shouting suggestions” (Jiang 38-39). The students are happy and eager to rebel because they want to have power over parents and teachers and that is what Mao wants. Students want to get power and justice and they think that they will get it if they rebel against their authorities.

Another key thing that swept up Chinese Youth is the prestigious programs that Mao Zedong created for the students to feel like they are being recognized. An example of this is when Jiang says “ Yu Jian, the chairman of our class, was the first one nominated. Then I heard my name called. My heart raced and I held my breath. I could hardly believe it. I was nominated. After everything that had happened, I was still regarded as somebody in the class. Now I could admit to myself : I had never wanted anything as much as I wanted to win this election”(Jiang, 56). Jiang is talking about her feelings after being nominated for this prestigious Red Successor group. She was feeling like she was being recognized like a hero. Another example is “ Everybody, guess what! Today a Liberation Army woman came to school and she tested me and she wants me to audition for the Central Liberation Army Arts Academy. Just think! I could be in the Liberation Army. And I could be a performer, too. Isn’t it great” (Jiang, 7)?

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Red Scarf Girl Essay. (2022, Jan 28). Retrieved from

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