The People’s: This Months’s Edition

This is a magazine cover I made with Piktochart about The Cultural Revolution: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Curt Kraus. The Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution was a violent revolution that shook and deeply affected the country’s culture and politics. The magazine cover shows the radical fever of the Red Guards and the Mao cult when Mao used the young generation to destroy his class enemies. The superior image of Mao and “Mao Ze Dong thought” was inundating and everyone had the little red book of Mao’s quotes. Big character posts and propaganda was everywhere. “Organizations competed to demonstrate their loyalty to Mao.” (31, Kraus) Similar to what I have created, of young Red Guards beating their teacher. The Red Guards were against the four olds (old customs, culture, habits, and ideas) and anything bourgeois. They tortured, humiliated and killed millions. “In Beijing, Red Guard teams raided more than 100,000 homes in search of reactionary materials, and they forced intellectuals to make self-criticisms.” (36)

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The Russian Revolution

What had changed in Russia from 1905 – 1939?

Russia’s 300-year Tsar monarchy was ended in 1917, followed by the grasp for power resulting in a civil war, then finally the commencement of the USSR in 1923. Russia’s government has transformed from corrupt autocracy and aristocracy into a communist republic. As a result of Stalin’s rule, Russia further transformed into a more industrialized country instead of an agricultural country. Education and women rights were improved as illiteracy almost disappeared in 1939, although the curriculums were very focused on supporting Communism and Stalin.

What had stayed the same in Russia from 1905 – 1939?

Most of the population of Russia are still underfed, and power was still quite concentrated. Power transferred from the Tsar to Lenin to Stalin. Even though power was distributed throughout the party, the leader held force and the most power and did anything to maintain their power.

In 1939, how was Sergei’s life the same or different from 1905?

Sergei was a modest soldier in the Tsar days, however, after the suffering and starvation he experienced during WWI, he lost faith in the Tsar and revolted with the Bolsheviks. He was well fed in the Red Army during Lenin’s days and was promoted as a commander of the Moscow secret police when the USSR was founded. However, during Stalin’s days, he lived in incessant fear of being purged for no reason.

Stalin Propoganda

                (From left to right) Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Semyon Budyonny, Kliment Voroshilov, Vasily Blyukher, Aleksandr Yegorov. Only Voroshilov and Budyonny survived the Great Purge.

Image sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~heale20k/Propaganda/Soviet_Propaganda_Posters.html

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The Hubble Space Telescope

The documentary on the Hubble Space Telescope was very fascinating. It showed inspiring pictures of deep space through the Hubble’s eye. When we glance at a blank spot up the night sky, it contains hundreds of distant galaxies. Every blurb and dot in the pictures are galaxies, while our solar system doesn’t even make a pixel. It was a very humbling experience, and for a moment, I aspired to explore space.

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The Ring of Power

This is a newspaper article I created with Canva is about the lust for power – one of the major themes in The Lord of The Rings(book 2), by J.R.R Tolkien. It shows the powerful influence of the Ring and the lust for pertaining it from many people of the Middle Earth. The One Ring is the master ring of all other Rings of Power, forged by the Dark Lord Sauron to help him dominate the Middle Earth. It is capable of augmenting the abilities of the bearer and shifting the bearer out the physical realm to the unseen real. Therefore, Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring wish to destroy this dangerous representation of evil and power. Seemingly, it tends to corrupt the heart of any that is near. Sauraman, for example, once a great wizard of the council, joined the Dark Lord due to his ambition of power, wanting to have the Ring to himself. Similarly, Boromir was a good man that covets to the Ring, for the fixed idea of owning the Ring to fight against the Dark Lord Sauron always held his mind, until he finally could not hold back, when he tried to force Frodo to give him the ring. Even Bilbo, who passed the ring to Frodo, was deeply influenced by the Ring. “Mine. My precious.” (Tolkien,44) Unaware, Bilbo spoke these very words Gollum had said before when Gandalf told him to leave the Ring behind.

 

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Fearless

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien is a classic of the century that one should definitely read. Tolkien depicts a magnificent magical world of the Middle Earth, crossing centuries of ancient history, and tells of an impossible journey. Aragorn is one of the main protagonists in the first novel, The Fellowship of the Ring (book2). As a warrior, a guide, a friend, Aragorn is genuinely a loyal and valiant man.

Aragorn is loyal to the fellowship, the ring bearer, and to his blood. All members of the Fellowship have the free will of leaving anytime, yet Aragorn remains loyal to his oath of protecting the ring bearer Frodo, by life or death. “I would have guided Frodo to Mordor and gone with him to the end.” (509, Tolkien) Nevertheless, he is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Elessar, Isildur’s heir, rightful king of Gondor. “Lady (Galadriel), you know all my desire, and long held in keeping the only treasure I seek. Yet it is not yours to give me, even if you would; and only through darkness shall I come to it.” (457) All these years he has been hiding away from his destiny, self-doubting, roaming the Middle Earth’s wild, yet he knows that he must face it in the end. The Ring corrupts the heart, the Fellowship, turning great man like Boromir astray, but not the heart of Aragorn. For he seems unaffected by the Ring and remains truehearted.

Furthermore, Aragorn is courageous and powerful. Cloaked in his hood and ragged clothes, he is Strider, a lonely ranger of the wild lands. Yet when he’s hood is drawn back and rises to his full height, those dark grey, fearless eyes reveal upon his stern, pale face. Despite his shaggy dark hair, he is a warrior, formidable and wise. When under assaults of enemies, the gleaming blade of Anduril shines like flames as he wields it. Even when facing the Nine, he doesn’t cower. “-a glimpse of Strider leaping out of the darkness with a flaming brand of wood on either hand.” (256) After the fall of Gandalf the Grey in Moria, Aragorn took the responsibility of a leader.  “There is still hope.” (310) His deep, low, yet determined voice led the Company on, “the slow firm footfalls of Aragorn with his long stride.” (406), towards the shadows of Mordor.

Moreover, Aragorn and Dori of Finding Nemo are alike in ways. They are both indispensably important to the main characters, as a guide, and a friend. There can’t be a more loyal and encouraging friend like Dori. Though she doesn’t seem like what she seems, and sometimes forgetful, she is absolutely fearless, just like Aragorn.

All in all, Aragorn is genuinely a loyal and valiant man. Without him, the Fellowship would have failed after the fall of Gandalf; without him, the line of man would have fallen; without him, Frodo wouldn’t have been saved from all the grave perils.

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Siege Them

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She Had a Dream

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Against

Darkness crept back into the forests of Middle Earth. Rumor grew of shadows in the East, whispers of a nameless fear, and the Ring of Power perceived…… The struggle of oneself as well as Good and Evil, are conspicuous universal conflicts in J.R. R’s The Lord of the Rings (book 1).

As Evil seeks to destroy Frodo, Frodo also seeks to destroy it. As the shadow creeps back to the Middle Earth, followed by the finding of The Ring, Frodo has been chosen. The line of men is failing, and the generation of Elves passing, Frodo had no choice but to bear the Ring and set foot on a perilous journey. With his three companions, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, the hobbits set off for Rivendell. The journey’s dark, for the Enemy has many spies, and the Nine hunts them endlessly. Strider, or Aragon, later joins and guides them. Nevertheless, even the best of man is no match for the Nine. “In the dark, they perceive many signs and forms that are hidden from us: then they are most to be feared…… We can feel their presence – It troubled our hearts, as soon as we came here, and before we saw them; they feel ours more keenly.” (Tolkien, 248) said Aragorn before the attack at Weathertop. For Frodo was struck by the accursed blade the dreadful nights later that night, and the wound drained life from Frodo. However, hanging on to his dear life, Frodo still stood his ground firm while facing the Nine alone, before he got saved by the River when at last the Nine was defeated by the great flood and Frodo fell into unconsciousness.

Furthermore, the internal conflicts that Frodo encounters cannot be overlooked. “I wish I have never seen the Ring. Why did it come to me? Why was I chosen?” (80) As much as Frodo fears, he must take the Ring and leave, to protect the Shire that he loves. “I am a danger, a danger to all that live near me. I cannot keep the Ring and stay here. I ought to leave Bag End, leave the Shire, leave everything and go away.” (82) Furthermore, the ominous will of the Ring weighs on Frodo’s heart. The temptation of using the Ring is so strong, Frodo sometimes fails to deter it. For Frodo had done many absurd actions because of it, like slipping his ring on in front of a whole crown in the Prancing Pony, and while under assault at Weathertop.

Like The Lord of the Rings, in the Harry Potter series, Harry was put on a great burden by fate. Frodo and Harry both seek to terminate the dominating dark power. As Frodo seeks to destroy the Ring, Harry seeks to destroy the Horcruxes. Moreover, Harry’s scar and the Ring are alike in ways. They both somehow connect Harry and Frodo to the Enemy, and sometimes makes them go astray……

All in all, the struggle of Frodo himself, and the war between good and evil are the dominant conflicts of the book. There are also many pairs of characters in the book that represent good and evil. Like Gandalf and Saruman, or Tom Bombadil and Sauron. After all, the war never ended since the beginning of everything. However, characters like Boromir and Gollum are split between good and evil themselves. Now, what really is good, and what should be defined as evil?

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Friendship

An essential theme of The Fellowship of the Ring (book one), by J.R.R Tolkien, is the power of friendship. The friendship between the hobbits in the book is adorably bromantic. When Frodo, Pippin and Merry were caught by the willow in Crickhollow, Sam said fiercely, “If it doesn’t let them go, I’ll have it down, if I have to gnaw it.” (Tolkein,155) And when Frodo was injured while the Nine were at their heels, Frodo refused to ride off with Glorfindel’s elven horse. “No I shall not ride him, if I am to be carried off to Rivendell or anywhere else, leaving my friends behind in danger.” (275) I have chosen to create a book cover, by drawing it first, then scanning and editing it with other media.

It shows the four hobbits, together against the unknown wild and great evil upon the Road. Without the help of his dear friends, Frodo wouldn’t have been able to overcome all the perilous perils on his journey to Rivendell, for they were always by his side, willing to protect each other.

Applications used:

  1. Adobe Acrobats
  2. Explain Everything
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LIFE & LOVE : Weekly Update

“Young Leonardo DiCaprio.” LoveThisPic, www.lovethispic.com/image/70935/young-leonardo-dicaprio.

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