Discrimination In 'Red Scarf Girl'

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Sarah Pham
Mrs. Rugon
Honors English 9
Discrimination During the Cultural Revolution
Everybody wants to fit in. In America, the media influences social norms, stereotypes, and acceptable behaviors. In Communist China, Chairman Mao and The Communist Party used propaganda to create ideology that destroyed Chinese culture and values. In the memoir, Red Scarf Girl, citizens of black class status endured severe acts of discrimination from The Cultural Revolution.
Jiang Ji-li and her family were forced to make difficult decisions due to the prejudice on their family name. Ji-li was not able to audition for a place in The Central Liberation Arts Academy because her family’s political background would not have passed the strict recruiting requirements. She was certain that she had a good chance of qualifying based on her skills, but she obeyed her father’s instructions to not compete. Ji-li felt that it was unfair for her to be judged by the position of her ancestors rather than her individual talent. In addition, the Jiang family also had to burn their old photos and paint over their trunks. …show more content…

Xiao-Cheng betrayed his father in order to be part of the revolution and be socially accepted. His father was the District Superintendent and was suspended and investigated for being a capitalist follower. His public humiliation was a demonstration of communist revenge on those that were more privileged in status. The revolution destroyed not only the identities of Xiao-Cheng and his father, but also their family. Even Jiang Ji-li planned to change her family name in order to have a fresh start. Since she had an ancestor who was a landlord, her family had an undesirable financial status that contradicted the ideals of the revolution. She was judged on the basis of her name rather than who she was. A new name would have given her a new identity, but it would mean betraying her

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