In the conclusion of Red China Blues by Jan Wong, she finally realizes what a foolish idiot she was during her Communist days, believing the lies the entire population of China was fed about how perfect and beneficial Communism was. While looking back at her past days as a “starry eyed Maoist” (Wong blurb).
In the beginning Wong believed in the lies China had spread about the wonderfulness of the Communist Party, leading her to travel to Beijing away from her whole like in Canada. But then, after being suddenly expelled from and then asked to come back to Beijing University, the perfect facade the Communist Party had built began to crumble in her mind. Yet, she continued filling the image of a “perfect” Maoist by laboring in farms and studying hard.
As her time in Beijing progressed, she eventually went back to Canada. Then, far away from the chaos happening in China, after eight years she graduated from Columbia and became a successful reporter for newspapers such as the Globe. After that, she got on a airplane and went back to Beijing. When she arrived a horrifying complete turnaround had taken place. “In the eight years I had been away, Beijing had changed dramatically. Its population had jumped 50 percent to eleven million… A new six-lane limited-access highway ringed the capital… This wasn’t the old China” (207). The people of China had also finally realized the Communist Party was controlling their lives and completely leading them on, and protested by “…marching along with posters reading ‘down with dictatorship!’, ‘you’ve fooled the people too long’, ‘the nine crimes of Deng Xiaoping’”… (227). Several students gathered in Tiananmen Square whilst going on hunger strikes. To make matters worse, the government retaliated by bring in giant weapons and tanks, shooting down anyone who dared stand up to them.
This terrifying display of violence finally shocked Wong into understanding the “…illusions of China” (283) were just that; illusions.
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