Was the cultural revolution a success in Red Scarf Girl?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ji-li did not consider the Cultural Revolution a success because she felt alienated and isolated by the constrictive social and political regulation.

Born in 1954, Ji-li grew up during China’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution.  She wrote Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Chinese Cultural Revolution to share her story.  She suffered from losing almost everything that mattered to her.  She lost the chance to be educated when the schools stopped teaching. 

Her family was targeted.  The hardest part for Ji-li was the treatment of her parents, including trying to get her to denounce her father because she was an actor.

His students and other actors used to defer to him so respectfully.  Where was his dignity and authority now? (p. 174)

Ji-li feels as though her family has been broken by the experience.  She knows that they were not bad people, and had done nothing wrong.  From her family’s perspective, the Chinese Cultural Revolution did not produce a better China.