Study Guide

Red Scarf Girl Tone

By Ji Li Jiang

Tone

Suspenseful

Reading this book is like reading the literary equivalent of the Jaws music. Our hearts are beating, our palms are sweaty—we just know something bad is about to happen. Okay, so things aren't quite that melodramatic—Ji-li is subtler than that—but the feeling is no less true. Check out how she describes going to bed after reading the incriminating letter:  href="

I tiptoed back to bed. My heart pounded inside my chest. Although the letter was merely reporting facts to a superior, it was a complaint about the Rebels at the theater. (16.8)

We can practically hear her heart racing. Ji-li has a wonderful way of making us feel the suspense she lives through in the book. We're never sure what's about to happen, but we know the stakes are high and things can go seriously south at any moment.