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The Red Guard

             The assignment for this paper was to select a book from the list given to us in class, read it, and choose an aspect of Chinese life mentioned in the book to compare with the movie we watched in class. I chose the book Son of the Revolution, by Liang Heng. This book is an autobiography, and really gave a much better description of the hardships faced by the Chinese people during the rise of Communism, the Cultural Revolution, and during Post Cultural Revolution times. It was one thing to hear in class how, "these people had it hard", but when it is a first hand account from some one that lived through it, it really hits you. And then the second hand accounts that you get from the people he encountered really help set in the fact that these occurrences were almost common place. .
             The Red Guard were Chinese people chosen to terrorize other Chinese people suspected of being "black", "rightist", "capitalist readers", "counterrevolutionary", or "Imperialist". The main topics I want to discuss in this paper are the main Duties of the Red Guard, The ways the Red Guard affected the people, and the way the Red Guard Factions fought with each other.
             In the movie we watched in class, it was easy to see that the Red Guard were a group of lackies working for the Chinese government. They carried out the wishes of their commanders. Some times it was to gather scraps of iron, sometimes it was to gather things from homes that were deemed anti-party, such as western books, pictures, etc. basically anything that had any association with western thought. In some instances it was shown that the Red Guard at your house was not something you wanted. Because they would take people suspected of having capitalist ideas away and torture or humiliate them.
             In the book I read the duties were basically the same, but through the reading, you get a much more in depth account of what they did exactly, and you get a more thorough understanding of why they were sent to do what they did.

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