The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Presented by: Daniel Walton
Introduction These journals tell a story about the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, (commonly known as the Cultural Revolution) in a Red Guardâ€™s (Peasant) perspective. The Cultural Revolution first started in 1966 and ended in 1976. My character is a high school student whoâ€™s a Red Guard and becomes more concentrated with the revolution than anything else. His life is changed when he visits Peking University as he finds out more about whatâ€™s happening. The Dazibao was one of the first revolutionary things that made the Cultural Revolution special. The Dazibao was able to change the minds of people and revolt against their enemies. This first happened when my character was walking through the halls of Peking University and saw a big banner, in which was the first Dazibao.
August 5th 1966- First Dazibao made in Beijing University
I walk through the halls of Peking University. Then I suddenly see a poster with big characters written on it. It isn’t only me who spots the big poster. Many other people see this poster and look confused. Then someone comes out and says, “This here is a Dazibao.” People were now talking and chatting about the Dazibao. The person says again, “My name is Nie Yuanzi. This Dazibao was created by me and a few other people in this university.” I’ve never seen a poster with characters written this big. But I know what it says and means. After my visit to Peking University, I go see my friends at the park. The first thing I hear when I get there is, “Did anyone see the Dazibao?” Everyone raises their hands including me. We talk and talk about the Dazibao and what it means. I tell them what I think it’s about. First I say that I agree with it, and then I say how we should protest the university and the bourgeois teachers there. We all think it's a good idea except for Hoi Kai, one of my closest friends. He’s an intellectual and disagrees with my idea because he thinks communism isn’t good. We all sit there in an awkward silence until finally someone says, “You disgrace your fellow people, your family, and our most honorable leader Chairman Mao.” Everyone agrees, but by this time Hoi Kai has already left. So we decide to teach him a lesson: To not disagree with our glorious leader, Chairman Mao. We make our own Dazibao that says, “Revolution is not a dinner party” and slam it across the front of his house. Then we walk back home with pride. I wake the next morning and find out that Hoi Kai’s house has burnt down.
August 18 1966- Mao greets the Red Guards in Tiananmen Square
Just a normal day at school, with normal teachers, and normal classes. An average high school student life. I wanted something exciting to happen, I want something different. Mao is my great hero. He is the one that can bring back prosperity and hope for the future. And that's what he’s doing. We receive notice later that day that Mao is closing schools and universities. He hopes the Red Guards can become more interactive with our goal of getting rid of the reactionaries. I see a man screaming the same message over and over again. “Become a Red Guard and serve our great hero, Chairman Mao.” The Red Guards are fighting for communism and so am I. Mao invites the Red Guards to join him at Tiananmen Square to greet us and give us hope for the future. We are so excited and start walking in groups to Tiananmen Square right away. We have a great deal of pride in us, so every time someone asks us if we need a ride, we reply “No.” We arrive at Tiananmen Square early in the morning; even though we don’t get much sleep, we still can’t hold our excitement to see the great chairman Mao. It’s finally time; I’ve never had so much excitement build up in my body before. And I’ve never seen so many people in my life. There are people from all over the country speaking different dialects and eating food I’ve never seen before. It seems like the whole world has come to visit the great Chairman Mao. Then there is silence as our hero emerges. He lift’s the little red book and holds it up high; we cheer as loud as possible hoping he can hear one of us. It is one of the happiest days of my life. We can’t believe our ears when he starts to speak. His words are like music to our ears. When he lifts the red book again, we lift ours like we are one. Then we sing the revolutionary song.
January 1967-Red Guards formed into “revolutionary rebel groups” and seized control over the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, which turned into their command Centre for controlling the city. This movement was known as the “January Storm”
They called it the “January Storm.” Lin Bao and Jiang Qing started this whole thing. We some how were greeted by Mao and now were in shanghai. It all happened so fast. Now I’m standing with millions of other Red Guards and hoping that I would blend in. I’m not sure what I feel right now. People are being humiliated by the second around China. But at least I know its for the greater good, it’s for Chairman Mao. We split into groups, they told us to never back down. I was scared yet excited at the same time. Rain heavily dropping on my head. I was nervous, so nervous that I wasn't sure if I was sweating or if it was just the rain. We targeted the Shanghai municipal government. And that's what we did. We eventually seized control of it and also purged many Shanghai municipal government leaders. It was a successful day. We all were honored to take down the government officials in Shanghai, even I was. I now was feeling happy. Happy because we succeeded and made didn't disappoint our great leader. We were gathering and celebrating, until one of the Red Guards stepped out of our crowd and started to speak. “It was a successful movement. But if were able to do this, we should also be able to help our villages. To throw away the intellectuals, to humiliate them, to purge them, to abolish them from your home!” We all cheered and all agreed with this mans idea. We charged forth to our villages to throw away that disagree with Chairman Mao. Me and a few other Red Guards threw our self at a door. The owner opened it and looked confused. He then knew that he was targeted. And we knew he was a capitalist. We dragged him out of his house and into the center of the village. “Over here is someone who disagrees with Chairman Mao. Someone who doesn't believe communism. A man with no belief but his own. A capitalist.” The crowd roared. We tied him and made him sit on a tall stool. We put a dunce cap to humiliate him, to teach him a lesson. It started to get overwhelming when the crowd was throwing hard solids at this capitalist. But the again I am a communist, I serve the great leader Mao, and so I picked up a rock and threw it at him as hard as I can.
July 27, 1968 - End of the Red Guards Reign, PLA (People's Liberation Army) takes over. Also, "Down with the countryside movement" campaign has started on December 1968
I started staring at a wall, like I had no spirit inside of me. And if you tried looking into my eye’s, there would be utter darkness. The Red Guards were no longer in use. The PLA (People’ s Liberation Army) took over for us. I was no longer needed in society, that's how it felt. To be casted out after all we’ve been through. I stopped and realized that it we haven’t been casted out. We’ve made Mao has happy as he can be. That was our goal, and we achieved it. I rubbed my eyes; they felt like they were no fire. I didn't realize but I must’ve been staring at the wall for hours. Mao is now starting a new campaign to promote him self. Even though this will make him to a god-like status, I don't think it will change his popularity because it has already reached the limit. But still even thinking about our great savior getting promoted, theirs still sadness in me. Even with the realization of making Mao as happy as he can still isn’t enough for me. There’s something I need to do, I want to help people to learn about Mao and his great ways. I wasn't sure if it was fate but I sure was happy. Mao has started a new campaign called “Down with the countryside movement.” It’s where people get re-educated and learn about Mao. I couldn't hold my excitement and I wanted to join right away. I volunteered to help those in need with a new education. This is what I needed, to get rid of the sadness and replace it with happiness. Everyone had a copy of the little red book. After the Red Guards and joining this place helped me a lot. I’m now able to teach many people in need of an education. For many days from now on I discuss to them about how great Mao is, and the things he did for our country. Almost Every time I leave to go back home, I hear the great sound of hope as the children sing the “revolutionary song.”
Sep death. 9, 1976 Mao's death
Its like hearing a thousand babies crying at the same time. The sky is grey, the rain is dirty, the children are crying. What have we done to deserve this? Us Red Guards help this country by bringing order to it! I smash the table with all my might over and over again. Soon enough the table was split in half. The puddle on the floor, was that the cup of water I spilt over? Or was it my tears, tears that feel like acid every time they drop. I scream, like a thousand whips are whipping me. Mao is dead. I wasn't alone though. Everyone near me felt the same pain I did. We again all gathered at Tiananmen Square to mourn his death. It was like flashing back when I was a young Red Guard with thousands near me. But this time were not celebrating, were crying. Again, it seemed like the whole country was here. People got on stage to talk about him, people who were honorable enough to speak about him. I wished I did, but I never got to work side by side with him. And still for some reason, I feel I know him deep down. During the speeches I had a panic attack. What do I do now? Will I survive without my lord’s orders? Will I be able to have the will to stand up to people now? I could feel my body shake. I sudden realization like this happened to many of us there at Tiananmen Square. We stood there for hours, listening to speeches, and paying our respect. We saw many people carry his coffin. People had letters and laid it gently and his coffin. I was also prepared. I drew out my letter from my jacket pocket. I laid it with both of my hands, because I didn't want to disrespect him. I withdrew my hands slowly because that was the last time I was ever goanna be near him again. For the last time, and in a long time. We ended the funeral with millions of people singing the “revolutionary song.”
Conclusion The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution shaped millions of lives; it also scared many too. During this revolution many were purged, especially the party officials. Capitalists were abolished, tortured, imprisoned, and sometimes killed. The Red Guards mostly caused all this because of the four olds and the destruction it cost. After the PLA (People Liberation Army) took over many of them got re-educated in a way to treat Mao better. It ended with sadness when Mao ze dong died. The whole country when to mourn for this “hero.” Many people today still pray for Mao. Even though he died, many people still think of him as a god. After Mao died the Cultural Revolution had ended. Many people didn't know what to do, especially the Red Guards. The Red Guards were not lost, they’ve been serving Mao for years and now they have no orders to take. Mao was a hero to some people, and some people had true hatred for him. Mao is like any other governor, but with more power and fame. Millions have people might’ve died, but it shaped China economically, socially, and politically. Since then, China has never been the same.
Citations http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Red_Guards.jpg http://www.theepochtimes.com/news_images/2004-12-23-army_men.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c6/Cultural_Revolution_poster.jpg http://chineseposters.net/images/e13-764.jpg http://ashanghaistory.tumblr.com/post/62402615861/dazibao-big-character-art http://img.news.sina.com/china/p/2011/0125/U43P5029T2D357376F31DT20110125173800.jpg http://chineseposters.net/themes/mao-after.php