Red Scarf Girl Essay

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In the novel Red Scarf Girl, by Jiang Ji-li many bad things happen to Jiang Ji-li and her family. One such thing is Ji-li being put in a worse school just because she was in a certain neighborhood. This is very similar to the story of Zhao Lianhai, who spoke out against the government’s idea to force kids to drink tinted milk, which ended up killing at least 6 kids. Another example of bad thing going on in Ji-li’s life is when her teachers, who before were highly esteemed, can now no longer teach what they are supposed to. They can only teach what the communist party tells them to. This is similar to the story of Chinese dissident Tan Zuoren, who wrote and protested about an earthquake in 2008 that killed thousands of school children because of shoddy buildings not strong enough to stay up. And the last example is when Ji-li’s father, Lao Jiang was imprisoned for no reason other than a complete judgment call on his arresters. This story is in turn similar to the story of Gao Zhisheng, who was illegally arrested for taking the cases (he was a lawyer) of people that the Chinese government does not like. In all this it is clear to see that the Chinese government has kept its policy the same from the Cultural Revolution all the way up to modern times. And that they have been able to hold to such a cruel and strict regime goes to show that the Chinese Government is corrupt and does not care about their people.

Our first example of Ji-li being treated wrongly during the Cultural Revolution is when she is put into a school which is not as good as Shanghai just because of where she lives. Although it is a decent school, she could have had a much more successful job or life then the one she will have now. But during the Cultural Revolution, it seems that all schools were “made dumber” and were only allowed to teach certain things. For example, in English class the main thing done was recite slogans and memorize, but there was no mention of any actual hard learning, apart from math class. Just the fact that the Cultural Revolution was making excellent students go to poorer schools showed and then making the schools more military barracks than a school goes to show that the Chinese government did not care about their young ones. And even now, in modern times, it seems that they still do not care, as a Chinese dissident Zhao Lianhai pointed out.

In 2008, Zhao Lianhai, just a normal Chinese person, became quite a topic for conversation when he spoke out against the Chinese government testing a baby formula laced with the industrial chemical melamine, which ended up killing six babies, sickening 300,000 and hospitalizing about 50,000 with kidney problems. Perhaps one reason why Zhao Lianhai took such an active role in the protesting of this act is because his own baby was among those 50,000 in hospitals. Jiang Yalin, a 35 year-old mother, said her 3 year old daughter’s kidneys were still damaged even after having passed 20 kidney stones. She continued on to say that her daughter still gets sick easily, and probably will have these health issues for the rest of her life. If Zhao’s child had any story similar to this, it is not hard to see why he would protest so hard. Zhao encouraged parents to go to his website, Kidney Stone Babies, and file civil lawsuits against the companies that had been forced to distribute these products. However, this tactic didn’t work, as most of the Chinese courts refused to accept these and turned a blind eye. And then, Zhao began to run into trouble with the authorities. His website was blocked off as he had tried to start rallies, and not long after he was arrested in Beijing and carted off to prison with an unfair trail that did not even allow Zhao to bring in evidence, as the judge said that there is no need, the case is too solid for that. Zhao after the trial yelled “I’m innocent!” and then proceeded to tear off his prison suit. Zhao was given a quite ridiculous time in jail, and yet the...
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