Study Guide

Red Scarf Girl Politics

By Ji Li Jiang


When an entire country decides to revolt against the ruling class, a couple of conversations about politics are certainly going to happen along the way. This is definitely the case in Red Scarf Girl, which takes place primarily during the start of the Cultural Revolution in China. We're all for promoting equality and opportunities for all, but we can't get behind beating people up or imprisoning them simply because they are better off. Since Ji-li's grandfather was a landlor, her family is a target during the Revolution, so politics are at the heart of Ji-li's story.

Questions About Politics

  1. What are Ji-li's political beliefs? What are her family's? How are they similar and how do they differ?
  2. Why is the idea of a revolution so important to Mao or the Red Guards? What is wrong with the way things were?
  3. How do Ji-li's politics clash with her loyalty to her family? Which is more important to her at the beginning of the book? Does this change by the end of the book?

Chew on This

While their ultimate goals may be noble, the Red Guards use political corruption and injustice to get what they want.

Even though their tactics aren't necessarily squeaky clean, the Red Guards are just trying to create a better political situation for the entire country.