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Mr. China's Son: A Villager's Life Research Paper

How do you start a Mr. China’s Son: A Villager’s Life research paper? Our expert writers suggest like this:

Twentieth century Chinese history is incomplete if one provides an account without considering the rule of Mao Zedong. Because Mao had such a tremendous impact on the country, his rule has been seen as both a boon and a bane for everyday citizens. Thus, while some authors have recounted his reign with absolute adoration, others see the heart of Mao as a ruler of exploitations.

Mr. China's Son: A Villager's Life

Because Mao is a historical figure that is either wholly loved or wholly hated, finding an ethnography or history of his reign that attempts to provide an unbiased account of his rule proves quite difficult. Perhaps this is why, He Liyi’s autobiography Mr. China’s Son: A Villager’s Life is so exquisitely unique.  By simply chronicling his own life, Liyi is able to paint an almost unbiased picture of this socialist dictator. In doing so, Liyi is able to artfully illustrate difficulties of everyday life promulgated by Mao’s rule. While it is clear that the author may hold some contention for Mao Zedong, his account of events presents the facts and lets the reader make his or her own assumptions about Mao’s rule.

Liyi begins is autobiography well into Mao’s rule, 1956. He notes that at the beginning of Mao’s rule the changes that he had experienced we, on the whole, positive.  “Everybody is free to express his or her thoughts. This was the policy set forth by Chairman Mao for promoting the arts and sciences and for developing a flourishing socialist culture”. This optimism changes dramatically, however, when Liyi is identified as an enemy of the state: “You are a man who hates the Soviet Union and loves the enemy, America”. Hence Liyi finds himself paradoxically caught between statements he made when “everyone was free to express his or her thoughts” and Mao’s removal of those that spoke negatively about Russia and/or China.

Liyi’s identification as a Rightist and enemy of the state prompts swift action by the government. In an attempt to reform Liyi, he is taken to a “reform farm” far away from the life he once knew.  Although his superiors tell him he is lucky to receive a position as a brick maker—as he was not assigned to hard labor in the agricultural farm—Liyi has difficulty accepting his “luck.” As the text progresses, the reader finds that Liyi is one of the “new prisoners” under Mao’s rule.

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