The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution occurred in mainland China starting in 1966 and ending finally in 1976 with the death of Mao. During this time, Mao was trying to regain control of the leadership of China and steer China back onto the Communist path as his rivals in the leadership group of the Communist party, like Liu Shaoqi, were trying to develop China into a more capitalist country. He also took this opportunity to get rid of the “Four Olds” – old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas, and lead China into a new age of Communism. This revolution was sparked with the use of mass propaganda which told people what to do in the name of communism and nationalism. However, his attempts caused chaos in the streets as his supporters known as the Red Guards caused disorder and violence. Millions died and the country was changed forever as a result of the uncertainty, the suffering and the destruction of this turbulent period.
This is a presentation of the journal of Chen Meiling, a young girl who was in high school when the revolution was started in 1966 and whose parents were farmers in Shunyi district, who then became a Red Guard during the revolution. Allow her to tell her story of being a Red Guard…
Through the presentation, we wanted to show that revolutions could bring good to the country but also scarring many people that experienced through that time. The revolution brought China to a greater position internationally, but like Chen Meiling, many people of China may have been hurt deeply through what they have seen, done, or experienced. Many of them still wouldn’t talk about it today.
To us, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was about changing the old ways of Chinese culture, and transforming it into ideas that Mao had. Because of this, the destruction made by the Cultural Revolution is irreversible. Countless historical sites were ruined, temples demolished, and books and pictured wiped out.