The Chinese Cultural Revolution, a period marked by struggle, destruction, and communism, serves as a major blemish on the People's Republic of China. No greater was this disaster felt than on those who experienced it first hand- China's populous. Serving as the population's voice, Liang Heng's "Son of the Revolution" gives readers an inside look at the impact the Revolution had on China. One of the most interesting impacts, as well the major contributor fueling the Revolution, was the mindless and brainwashed state the Chinese were placed under.
Contrary to other societies, China's youth was fully involved in politics and the promotion of socialist thought. Schools were urged to teach students to fall in love Mao Zedong and his ideas, all while removing any curriculum that could be deemed "Capitalist"." Traditional subjects were replaced with activities in which students pretended to kill writers that spoke out against the government (41). This brainwashing influenced youth to take what they were taught at school and take part in revolt. The Party began to ushered students to publicly shame any adult that they believed was under capitalist thought. By accusing adults, the children were taught they were doing a positive service to Mao and were heavily honored and respected. Upon joining the Revolution, Heng writes, "We suddenly discovered we didn't know what Capitalism and Revisionism really were" (46)". Clouded by their search for glory, students began to mindlessly convict under the impression that anything was "fair game"" (47). Only concerned that they were doing an honorable service to Mao, the youth continued to convict. This possibility of being accused made sure the population devoted their lives to Mao, constructing a vicious cycle that would persist for ten years.
Even more interesting than the brainwashed youth was the thought processes of adults. A person convicted of capitalist thought could have many possible punishments: being sent to a labor camp, sent to a thought restructuring class, public shaming, or even death.