Name: Alternate Assignment for Red Scarf Girl pg. 19

Alternate Assignment for Red Scarf Girl pg. 19-37
Class Period:
Directions: In class today, we had a journal entry that you must make up on your regular journal paper. See the Daily Agenda
document for the journal entry or look on Mrs. Lilly’s bulletin board. This assignment will take the place of the Ch. 1 Daily Reading
Guide in your portfolio.
Summary of Red Scarf Girl, pg. 19-37 (Destroy the Four Olds)
Ji Li begins the chapter by describing Grandpa Hong’s Bookstall, a place similar to a library where she and her siblings rent books to
read on Sunday afternoons while her dad naps. On this particular Sunday, An Yi shows up to tell them about something exciting
happening in the center of town. Ji Li, her siblings, and An Yi all rush to see the excitement. People of the city are trying to smash the
sign for the Great Prosperity Market, as a way to help rid the city of the “Four Olds” like Chairman Mao has told them in the
newspapers. Since Great Prosperity means to make a lot of money, this “black” idea needs to be torn down and replaced with a “red”
name. The people, including Ji Li, have a lot of fun tearing down the sign. When the children get home, however, the adults are not
very happy about what happened. Grandma knows that the sign cost a lot of money to make, and was hung on a very “lucky” date. Ji
Li and her siblings remind their family that superstitions like lucky dates are old ideas, so they are part of the “Four Olds” that must be
destroyed. Ji Li realizes that this battle will be hard, since culture is so much a part of who they are, and now that culture needs to
change. Ji Li and her friends are excited, however, because this is the first time that they got to be a physical part of the revolution and
help Mao, since they were to little to fight in the Communist Revolution. They think they are being heroes by helping with the Four
Olds Movement.
Ji Li and her sister also witness another incident where high school students were helping to destroy the four olds: a man was
humiliated in the streets for wearing “bourgeoisie” fashion. His pants were too tight and his shoes were too fancy, so the students cut
his pants and roughed up his shoes. Ji Li knew that the man should have worn more practical clothing, but she felt bad that he had
been embarrassed that way.
Destroying the Four Olds becomes more personal when An Yi is made fun of at school for using words that are considered “old ideas.”
The students making fun of An Yi are Yang Fan, a previously quiet girl, and Dui Hai, a trouble making boy whose mother is high up in the
Communist Party. Ji Li jumps in to defend An Yi, and it turns into a drama filled argument. Ji Li is called a capitalist for her family
having a housekeeper. After the fight, as they leave to go home, Ji Li is sad that she will have to tell her mom what the students said
about Song Po Po.
After Reading:
Make three comments or questions about this chapter.
Written Reflection: Do you think that old ideas, old customs, old culture, or old habits can hold people back from bettering
themselves and others? Why or why not? Write at least a paragraph explaining your answer and giving modern day examples.