Son of the Revolution Essay

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Peter Kim
HIST 354
McKenzie
April 2013
Son of the Revolution Essay
Right at the start of the memoir, Son of the Revolution, the reader’s attention is drawn to the strict nature of the daycare center the narrator is in. We find that China’s motion towards a Socialist party is integrated down to the people’s level, even implemented and enforced in the daycares. This seems extreme to the reader, especially when the songs sung by the children are titled, “Sweeping the Floor”, “Working the Factory” and “Planting Trees in the Countryside”. One doesn’t need much context clues to figure out what these songs are about. Consequently, this level of extreme integration has caused Chinese society to value family as second-priority to this pursuit of Socialist. However, in this setting where the family isn’t that well off, we learn that Heng and his siblings were spoiled by their paternal and maternal grandmothers.

In regards to Mao Zedong, the people of China are led to believe that Mao was in some sort of a deity, a god that affected everyone’s lives. Simultaneously, he was considered as a national father of everyone in Communist China. The author demonstrates this when recalling the sweet of relief he felt when he heard “that Chairman Mao had forgiven” him, and through writing exercises that required them to repeatedly practice writing, “Chairman Mao is our Great Saving Star,” and “We are all Chairman Mao’s good little children. ” To many outside nations, including Americans, this seems like a way of brainwashing the people, especially at such an early age. However, we already know that the leaders of the Communist Party have no such fatherly intentions for their “children”. The “Hundred Flowers Movement,” a movement that encouraged China’s peoples to openly express their voices and opinions, turns out to be a trap set to identify any Rightists in the midst of people. Trying to be helpful, Heng’s mother is accused of being a Rightist and is sent to a...
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