HS student from the
By: Amanda 8-7
When MaoZedong decided that he wanted more power from at
the central committee, he killed many other leaders in the
party. In fact, every leader until the point where his power
could not be rivaled by anyone.
And to gain even more control over China, he started a
revolution called the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,
1966. It was his attempt to create a new China with an
economy better than Britain‟s and good enough to rival
America‟s. But most importantly, to create a new China.
Life was hardest at the start of the Revolution. If you weren‟t
careful and revealed any negativity towards the Cultural
Revolution, you were beaten/tortured/killed by the red Guards,
who were high school students called by Mao ZeDong to join
up together and remove the „impure‟ elements of the Cultural
This is a boy who comes from a humble family in
the big city of Shanghai. As a student, he has
always kept up and generally done quite well in
his studies, particularly excelling at the sciences.
His family suffered greatly at the beginning of the
Great Leap Forward, but his mother went back to
her hometown where she had a private estate
and mini farmland so he and his father could
share her food rations. He became a Red Guard
at the age of 16, in the year 1966.
It was 10:15 am in the morning exactly, and we were all sitting down
quietly at our desks. I thought about what the teacher was saying, and
then decided that what he was teaching wasn‟t important because I
already knew it. I spun the wooden pencil around in my hand, looking out
of the windows. The sun was beating down on me and I felt dizzy.
The teacher will not notice because I sit in the middle left side of
the classroom of sixty students. I went outside to refill my water bottle,
walking to the water sink. It had something scribbled on the side of it. I
moved my face closer and read the words: Red Guard. I thought about it
for a second, and didn‟t understand the meaning of it. But I was not
feeling like going back to the classroom, so I went outside on the balcony
and looked down. Then something immediately caught my eye.
Something was in the newspapers. Why else would there be a gathering
crowd in front of the newspaper stall? I went down the stairs on the side
of the balcony, a total of five flights of stairs. I asked them what was
going on, and two of them told me: at the recent meeting between the
communist party, Mao had ordered the students in Senior School to form
Red Guards for the purpose of removing the „impure‟ elements of this
I didn‟t comprehend in the beginning. Everything seemed fine- why
are we doing this? Life was so peaceful, and everyone was working so
hard? What did Mao see in this life that was bad for this revolution? Will it
really help if there were Red Guards who joined together to remove any
bourgeois and feudal influences? My mind was burning from thinking so
hard. Then I looked up, towards the other end of the street, where I saw
two ladies arm in arm, holding up their fancy new bag, which kept on
glistening in the sunlight. Then they were walking towards a man in a
neat suit. Immediately I knew that these decadent people would be in
trouble if the kept on acting like this. They owned too many unnecessary
luxuries. It was called the 5.16 Circular. Just yesterday we had all
gathered at the Square to hail our beloved Chairman Mao. It was a wild
scene where from the top only faces and red flags could be seen among
That same afternoon, all students of our entire school were called on for
a meeting in the school piazza. Students from all four years of the school
filed down the stairs, and took to sitting down all together. The school
announced that they were going to form Red Guards for our school by
selecting the top 20 students of each class. There will be many, many of
People at the Square,
gathering to meet Chairman
When I received the fast-spreading news of Lin Biao‟s death
and betrayal, I never thought it would lead to a day like today.
Lin Biao was a man I liked and followed! That‟s why I couldn‟t
believe my own eyes when I saw the news on the papers. It
was the first few words hanging on people‟s mouths when
they first see you around. However there are rumours saying
that Chairman Mao himself had plotted this violent death in
order to keep having more power than Lin Biao. And what will
happen to us now that Lin Biao‟s powerbase has surely
The word had spread to me a few mornings ago when I was
walking outside today to buy newspapers and to collect our
family‟s food rations. The man behind the newspaper stalls
hung all the newspapers in a different way. All the papers with
Lin Biao‟s news on the top were displayed on the top of the
newspaper stall, hung in a line. I was walking, past the phone
box, along the familiar path I always took. There was a small
crowd of people standing before him and ten he waved at me
when he saw me- we are old friends and you could say he
watched me grow up.
And now these news are replaced with the news of the Gang
of Four- four leaders that are taking over as the new political
leaders. There was a sort of excitement among the others,
but I can‟t help feeling sad. All this time, Lin Biao had been
such a trustworthy leader! And now with the Gang of Four in
his place, I don‟t know if things will ever turn out as he wanted
them to. A freezing breeze rushes through the windows, and I
hold my breath, but still I feel the dominance of the Gang of
Four becoming more and more real.
Lin Biao when he
was still alive. with
the Little Red
Book that he
made, „a book full
of Mao‟s quotes‟
Today might have been quite fitting for a gloomy grey day. But this
morning was a particularly sunny April morning, a day that we were
supposed to be mourning. But the central authorities has removed
Qingmingjie from our calendar.
When I heard that I immediately thought of my deceased grandfather,
and a wave of sadness settled in. He was so good to me and I loved him
equally much. So today I could definitely not leave him at his grave
alone. There on the windowsill already lay the flowers in the brown
basket and everything else my sister and I had prepared, including the
paper money that we traditionally burn to heaven. I have to go see him
and bring him our best wishes.
The first rays of daylight hit the stone of our home as I made my way to
When I was walking to the other side of the gunpowder manufacture, a
few people murmured about protests at the Square. I inched closer, and
got an earful of what they were saying. Zhou Enlai was a man whom
many men revered, and to limit their mourning for him had crossed the
line. Also I heard someone say: have you seen those people outside in
the pavement? Girls walking in liked arms, boys in clusters, children
running ahead of couples on a weekend. It‟s extraordinary that they‟re so
free when we‟re locked up in here day after day! Some of them
immediately dropped their tools or work at hand and walked off. I
followed some of them, and alas, they were heading for the Square.
We gathered, the ten thousands of us, one by one to the Tiananmen
Square. A soldier stood next to me, and when I looked at him he smiled
down at me and asked me if I was native to Shanghai. No ones knew
who called everyone here. Soon the Gang of Four‟s men came, forcing
the crowd to disperse.
And immediately after the incident, we faced was the removal of Deng
XiaoPing. They say that he was being accused to planning this event at
Zhou En Lai
„The goal was to create a strong China‟, the government worker said. But where have
they gotten us? I am now 26 years old; ten years older than the first day I became a
Red Guard. Looking back, there are many good memories. I can‟t believe those few
years flew by like that. Everyday was an adventure, writing new things everyday in
another page of our thousand-page book. It was the first time in so long I had had
control of my own life. We ran around the country on the trees, with our heads out of
the window, shouting into the air. When I close my eyes, I can still remember the
many nights making dazibaos for Mao, taking up half of the road on a street corner.
Believing only Mao could help us. Day after day, we made him more and more
But now it seems as if all that happened in another life. The Cultural Revolution is
over. We heard the news that spread fast throughout the capital city, and was
announced Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the State Council,
the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the party's Military
Affairs Commission. At dawn, my siblings and I visited Tiananmen Square. We came
in front of the huge picture of Mao, where we all saluted to him in unison, five black
armbands up to our heads at the same time. Suddenly everything that has happened
in the past few years rushed back to me. This man, that has brought tens of millions to
their death, and our smoldering attempt at destroying the Old China. I even
remembered the faces of those we tormented for protesting how life was before all
this. With one last look at the tall red flags waving beside his portrait, we left. At times
we still can‟t help but wonder what will happen to this control after the surprise death
of its leader.
On our way back home as we are walking down the streets, there‟s only one word that
is written on everyone‟s faces: uncertainty. You can see it in their eyes that no one
really knows what the future holds. And even though every one is having their own
little chat, there still hangs a silence among each one of us. But silence was golden.
It‟s our time to think about the situation we‟re in right now and what we are going to do
And I am not the government worker I thought I would grow up to be. They told me
Death of Mao Ze Dong
From Red Guard to factory worker, he lived a safe life
during the Cultural Revolution. His younger sister
became a Little Red Guard during the latter years of
the Cultural Revolution. However his spirit for the Red
Guards never rose high again the way it did in his
youth. His eyes wouldn‟t shine bright again when he
was „removing the impure elements of China‟. He is
just a normal working man now, in his twenties. Now
that the revolution has ended, he knows it has been
for nothing, even though much has changed since
then. But a good man works hard, and the arrow can
only be shot by pulling backwards. So he will keep his
head up and keep aiming.
Many people were killed during the Great Proletarian
Cultural Revolution. Many people ended up hating Mao
due to the fact that he ruined their lives by not letting
them get college education, and instead spending their
high school years attacking people, and
„revolutionizing‟. Mao ruined an entire generation of
The Four Olds were mainly destroyed during the
Cultural Revolution when many people tried to create a
New China. Lots and lot of cultural heritage were
destroyed and many old works from China lost.
Right now, China is the country with the fastest growing
economy in the world. Although the recent years has
had the greatest influence on this, the Cultural
Revolution was what launched this spirit in many of the
Chinese People. Life is now easier than it was before,
there is more freedom, and people can freely express
their opinions without having to risk being caught and
"Our Campaigns - Candidate - Mao Zedong." Our Campaigns Candidate - Mao Zedong. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
"ArchivoLIN BIAO." Archivo Lin Biao. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb.
"Cold War International History Project's Cold War Files." Cold
War International History Project's Cold War Files. N.p., n.d.
Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
"China Years: The Leaders and Their Red Guards | The China
Times." China Years: The Leaders and Their Red Guards | The
China Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
"Red Guards (China)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16
Feb. 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
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