Personal Narrative: Noteworthy

Told in the first-person point of view, this personal narrative captures a young narrative’s internal conflict of finding ways to display kindness in her life. Having learned how magnificent kindness is, eight-year-old May finds herself seeking to help others around her but only comes to notice that she is needless by her family or community.

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Change and Continuity:

Chairman Mao’s death in 1976 and the arrest of the Gang of Four marked the end of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. However, the results and consequences still resonates in Chinese politics and society, changing China. The affliction and violence of the revolution changed Chinese citizens’ ideas, cultures, customs, and habits. Citizens are suspicious of the society and of each other because they have once been betrayed by their own family and friends during the revolution. Also, numerous people lost faith in their government altogether.

However, on the positive side, after Deng Xiao Ping regained power in 1977, he opened China to the West. Deng also created the Gao Kao system, similar to the SAT, helping to reestablish the education system. Life seemed to recover and people became more free in their actions, dreams, thought, and speech.

Although the revolution left deep scars and changed China, there are still continuities. Chinese people remains patriotic as always, and even today, still view Mao as a legendary leader and with great respect.

Narrative Lead

I burst up from my bunk, panting. “You alright Sergei? It’s the third time tonight,” Jaro whispers across from me in the darkness. A glimpse of orange light passes through the window and scans his face along with the nine other people I share a room with. Hunching my shoulders, I run both my fingers through my head and nod.

The image of the gun firmly pressed against my forehead and the finger lingering on the trigger is still vivid. “I’m…I’m fine, g’night,” I mumble, pulling the thin blanket over me. Who can it be that wants me dead? I admit I have been a spy for Germany, but they haven’t found me, they haven’t caught me, and they haven’t shot me! Now that Russia and Germany signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact just yesterday, I’m fine. Right? Questions dance in my mind as I lay awake with the sounds of snore accompanying me. Figures shift in the shadow and the bedsheets shuffle. I’m still wide awake. Who can it be that wants me dead?

Narrative #3: Inevitable Death

Nine years ago, Lenin guided us to victory in the November Revolution during 1917. We believed in his words, his strength and his leadership.

During the months that followed the one day revolution, Lenin issued the first decrees of Sovanarkom, the new Bolshevik government. Lenin ordered land of the Tsar and other nobles to be given to peasants, and many more orders to improve the state of Russia. However, many did not support us in the Constituent Assembly. That day, Sovnarkom ordered the Red Guards to make a move. I was stunned at first but I obeyed my rules and killed whomever that demonstrated in support of the Assembly. That is, another bloodbath in front of my eyes.

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Revising My Narrative

Due to the limited feedback I received from my partner, Cameron, I couldn’t make many changes to my journal. Based on some questions he had pointed out, I changed the word, “team”, whom he said seemed too much like a game, to the word, “troop”. After reading his revision I thought I needed more feedbacks, so I exchanged my narrative with Coco. I used the rest of the class to critique hers and she did the same for me, so most of my edits were based on Coco’s feedback. However, we only wrote places of adjustments on the paper and didn’t get the chance to write on the rubric, so I still lack in feedback. At home, I managed to correct some punctuation and GUM errors for my narrative.

Revision: Betraying Myslef

Narrative 2: November 10, 1917
POV: Sergei, a soldier

A Sunday afternoon twelve years ago, I made an oath to myself while hauling dead bodies outside the Winter Palace. I felt reluctant yet still convinced myself not to pity the peasants whom I killed, the ones whose blood splattered my uniform. I vowed that I will serve our Tsar for as long as I lived. But that was a lie.

Early in March, Petrograd was anarchic. Through sheer panic, I shot feverishly along with my troop at thousands and thousands of workers who were protesting. In the morning of March 12th, our commander, furious and distressed, yelled at us, “Just now, an idiot sergeant in the Volinsky regiment shot his commanding officer dead!”. The news of this mutiny caused an uproar amongst my comrades. “They betrayed us,” our commander continued, “so don’t show them mercy.”

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Betraying Myself

Narrative 2: November 10, 1917

POV: Sergei, a soldier

A Sunday afternoon twelve years ago, I made an oath to myself while hauling dead bodies outside the Winter Palace. I felt reluctant yet still convinced myself not to pity the peasants whom I killed, the ones whose blood splattered my uniform. I vowed that I will serve our Tsar as long as I lived. But that was a lie.

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