This sample of an academic paper on Son Of The Revolution Summary reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
An autobiography “The Son of the Revolution” by Liang Heng and Judith Shapiro is an astonishing story that illustrates two decades of the economic, political and cultural situation in China between late 50s and 70s. The book embraces the time of the Cultural Revolution, which consisted of various political movements such as The Hundred Flowers Movement, The Great Leap Forward, and so on.
The concurrent presence of the mighty superpowers like the Soviet Union and the USA on the international scene has dramatically worsened the situation in China. According to the research of two political scientists it would be appropriate to assert that:
during the Cold War, China was the only major country that stood at the intersection of the two superpower camps, a target of influence and enmity for both.
” (Nathan and Ross 13).
In early 1950s China occupied a vast territory and was a country that had to be taken into consideration, especially by the two superpowers. China became a partner of the Soviet Union within the framework of mutual communist development and cooperation. In 1953-57 a number of treaties of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance were signed up by China and the USSR. It has led to the development of the Chinese industry and an increase in manufacturing capacity. The Soviets were providing China with a significant number of experts, scientific innovations, material and technical basis.
In the middle of the XXth century, China’s leader Mao Zedong was strongly influencing the ideology using it as the most important mean for shaping the nation’s points of view. Moreover, being involved in the confrontation between the USA and the communists, China joined the latter getting much profit from the relationship than from any other partnership before. The USSR was supplying China with national security, supporting it financially as the Western countries established an economic freeze on the Chinese products and services. Thus, the power of the Communist ideology has strengthened and became even more crucial for the future of the country.
The power of that political situation can be observed from the fact that Liang Heng’s father being one of the main book’s characters has been a devoted follower of Mao throughout the story. His son’s childhood was imbued with ideological slogans assuring young Liang Heng in the reality of life where he should be a “Chairman Mao’s Good Little Boy”. In spite of humiliation, cruel and unjust attitude Liang Shan has experienced, he remained an honest servant of the communism regime and couldn’t turn off the road. At first, Liang Heng behaves himself as his father ordered him to behave. He enjoys listening to Mao’s speeches, talking about it with the family members and other people. The vivid example of young Heng’s delight and enthusiasm associated with his imposed political preferences and believes is depicted in the book when Mao arrives to Peking and gives a speech outdoors. The crowed is so happy to observe the chief person of the country that some start stating that they have touched Mao’s hand. The panic seizes people and they try to get closer to each other in order to even distantly feel the spirit of “the Great”. Afterwards, seeing the leader again, Liang Heng calls Mao the reddest sun of his heart and tells everybody about his incident with the Chairman. (Liang and Shapiro 124).
Obviously, the situation of mutual understanding between two powerful states has become an unpleasant surprise for the USA that was put face to face with an international confrontation. In order to perform a retaliatory blow, the latter came into operation by levying the Korean and the Vietnam War. As a consequence of the USSR’s effort scattering, China turned away from its former influential partner and launched the policy of international relationship strengthening. The crack in the relationships between Mao’s China and the Soviets took place after Stalin’s death. Mao Zedong concluded that it was time to proclaim him a headquarter, hereby immediately ranking the USSR as an enemy and a competitor.
Throughout the book “Son of the Revolution” the Chinese home policy is severely influencing the Liang Heng’s character and his whole environment as he is trying to fit in the system with great eagerness. The communist ideology in China was such, that people were forced to believe in the horror and nightmare of the capitalism. The book describes the multi-valued strategy of the China authorities toward the ordinary people. On one hand, the governmental strategy according to which capitalism has a negative impact on moral values of the whole mankind is publicly broadcasted, but on the other hand the same officials and their representatives take all actual adverse possessions such as real estate, personal items, cattle away from their population. It may be clearly observed in the dialogue between Liang Heng’s father and Guo Lao-da – a farmworker:
“What shall I do? My ducks have supported me my whole life. Do they want us to starve to death to fight Capitalism?” “Hush,” whispered Father. “They could blow out your brains for saying less.” Then he spoke softly with him until the fire bummed down very low. I was already asleep in the kitchen when Guo Lao-da went out to kill the ducks.’ (Liang and Shapiro 211).
Witnessing all these challenges and rebelling against the inequity, Heng expresses his emotions in one of the letters to his friend who is considered to be an enemy. He questions the achievement of the Cultural Revolution, he tries to find an answer for being treated so unfairly and endeavours to reveal the reason why people have contributed so much to the national prosperity receiving nothing in return. The situation where Liang Heng, Liang Shan and others found themselves was a favourable environment for disappointment and self-underestimation. The focus of the story lies in millions of the devastated lives that served faithfully to the regime but all of a sudden were back where they’ve started. The general tragedy of the period described in the book is that the ideology looked better in theory. That is when people hoped to be equally treated and to have equal rights and respective incomes. They were neither lazy nor foolish; they did their best to lead a happy life remaining utterly devoted to the leader and his representatives. Instead, their lifestyles were harsh and oppressive, full of unexpected problems, constant diffidence and uncertainty. All of them were hoping for a single ray of hope in the darkness of reality. In search of a better life many of the Chinese immigrated to another prosperous countries. Liang Heng did the same and was hoping to come back in a number of years and become a witness of a country’s economic, cultural and social development. Unfortunately, it didn’t come true. Moreover, he has noticed that the authorities were not encouraging people to reveal their talents, skills and knowledge. Their policy demanded the same conformity and regime creating an atmosphere of equality. But the latter was more linked to the equality of national disability to develop and create.