Study Guide

Chang Hong in Red Scarf Girl

Chang Hong

Ji-li's classmate Chang Hong is kind, compassionate, and extremely dedicated to the cause. Even though her brother has epilepsy, Chang Hong would rather commit her time to the Red Guards than anything else. It's not that she doesn't love her little bro—in fact, it's quite the opposite. She explains to Ji-li, "But we can't allow personal matters to interfere with revolutionary duties. Especially for an important political assignment like the exhibition" (12.87). Um, okay.

We admire her commitment to her beliefs, but we can't help but notice the huge cost she pays for it. In many ways, we see her contrasted with Ji-li, who chooses her family over politics. It's not that Chang Hong is mean-spirited or anything—she just believes more in the Cultural Revolution than her own personal desires.