Red Scarf Girl Letter

Dear Mr. Schroeder

The novel, Red Scarf Girl is a memoir of the cultural revolution written by Ji-Li Jiang. In this novel, Ji-Li was the protagonist and narrator who was only twelve years old when the Chinese Cultural Revolution began. The Chinese Cultural Revolution was ignited when Chairman Mao proclaimed the removal of the “four olds”. Which includes old habits, old culture, old ideas and old customs. Ji-Li and her family were unfairly criticized by the revolution for absurd reasons. Throughout the novel, she was badly treated by the government officials and peers and was eventually removed from the city and placed on a farm where the conditions were severe. After the novel, she moved to America and wrote her auto-biography—— Red Scarf Girl.

Ji-Li’s commitment to her family is undeniable, throughout the novel, she had been facing the difficult situation of choosing between her family and her future. “‘ You saw your father. He is being remolded through labor. We have evidence that he has committed a serious counterrevolutionary crime.’ He paused and fixed me with his eyes. ‘But he is very stubborn and refuses to confess. And your mother. Humph. She’s another despicable thing!’ ‘She’s not a thing, she’s a human being,’ I wanted to scream, but I knew that I should not provoke him.’”(189, Jiang) Ji-Li had learnt to hide her truthful feelings under a mask, she knew that expressing her feelings would not help her nor her family. Ji-Li instead, had carefully concealed her feelings in order to prevent her family from getting into trouble. In the final parts of the book, Ji-Li had started to waver. Her grandfather was a landlord, whenever somebody had mentioned his name, she thought of him as a shameful elder in her family. At first, she thought Chairman Mao as a god, she had believed in whatever he said or did. The citizens in China were isolated from the outside world, Chairman Mao had used this as a strategy to “brainwash” them in order to keep himself in power. Because of that, she had started to doubt her family, mistrust her friends. “Many friends have asked me why, after all I went through, I did not hate Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution in those years. The answer is simple:We were all brainwashed. To us Chairman Mao was God. He controlled everything we read, everything we heard, and everything we learned in school. We believed everything we read.”(265) This quote was

from Jiang Ji-Li after the revolution, she had completely realized what was happening during the her childhood. The same thing applies to the others living during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Ji-Li’s commitment to her family had helped the readers reveal what Ji-Li was truly going through at that time, her responsibility and love towards her family had let us understand what the cultural revolution had forced young teens go through at that time. Her determination to hold her family together had helped her survive.


Amy L

Chen Hua Ming is a professor teaching at Bei Da University. He dedicated more than a half of his life on learning and teaching. He is an intellectual who treated all of his students fairly. However, due to the Cultural Revolution’s removal of Intellectuals, his earnings slowly decreased, the students that he once treated like his own child had turned their backs against him. One day, he was arrested and forced to walk the streets criticizing himself, the government took away his dignity. After that day, he began to question Chairman Mao; Is Mao really a great leader? Or is he just isolating our society from the better countries?

Due to the removal of intellectuals, after the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the amount of intellectuals immensely decreased, and because of that, the science and technology in China had barely made any process in the generations that followed. People in China are no longer united, they do not have trust between them anymore, the country is no longer one. After the Chinese Cultural Revolution, intellectuals were supported, the four olds were not banned anymore, however, the old cultures have pretty much disappeared.

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

In this video, Coco and I chose five turning points;

The Unofficial Start of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution May 16, 1966

Chaos, December 1968

Down to the Countryside Movement, September 13, 1974

The Lin Biao Affair, April 5 1976

End of Revolution, October 1976

To make this video, we had separated our jobs. For writing the script, I wrote the Hook and the Conclusion while Coco wrote the main body paragraphs, during the filming process, we found icons or pictures that matched the script, mainly key figures and key vocabulary and cut them out. For recording the visuals, we followed the script and put the pictures and icons on the whiteboard whenever we need to. We each recorded parts of the script, and after filming the visuals, had put the audio on top of the visuals so that we could only hear the audio part.

Overall, I think we included the key points of the revolution, and explained what had happened during the time well, however, I think that the video quality could have been better and in some parts, there is still reflections on the whiteboard. For the audio, we had spoken at an average pace so that the audience could understand better.