Study Guide

Red Scarf Girl Writing Style

By Ji Li Jiang

Writing Style

Descriptive and Vivid

When we're reading Red Scarf Girl, we feel like we're right there with Ji-li. (Not that we'd want to go through what she did.) We can almost see the propaganda wall or her school littered with da-zi-bao. Why? Because Ji-li uses a descriptive and vivid writing style to explain everything.

You don't have to look further than the first page to see what we mean. She says:

Chairman Mao, our beloved leader, smiled down at us from his place above the blackboard. The sounds and smells of the tantalizing May afternoon drifted in through the window. The sweet breeze carried the scent of new leaves and tender young grass and rippled the paper slogan below Chairman Mao's picture: STUDY HARD AND ADVANCE EVERY DAY. (1.1)

Let's do a recap:

  • What is she looking at? A Chairman Mao poster.
  • What does she hear? May afternoon breeze and sounds.
  • What does she smell? New leaves.
  • What does she feel? Pride.

Reading the book is like going through a sensory checklist, and Ji-li hits them all. She offers such vivid details about what's going down so readers get to experience life along with her, blasting back to China in the 1960s.