Down To The Countryside Movement Analysis

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Han Shaogong captures the emotion and experiences of the Cultural Revolution, and the Down to the Countryside Movement from the perspective of an educated youth in his novel, “A Dictionary of Maqiao.” In the novel, the reader follows an educated youth as he travels to the countryside as a part of Mao’s “Down to the Countryside Movement.” The “Down to the Countryside Movement” was an effort by Mao Zedong to eradicate the anti-bourgeois thinking that he believed was prevalent in his country. Mao Zedong decided to send privileged youths, many who had just graduated, to the country and mountainside to learn about life there. Han Shaogong wrote about experiences from the “Down to the Countryside Movement” because it directly affected him, as he was labeled an educated youth. He decided to write this novel after becoming part of the “Search for Roots,” or …show more content…
The main theme that Han Shaogong presents to the reader though is the theme of change and the concept that progressive change can live alongside tradition if they try to understand each other. In “Cultural Lexicology: Maqiao Dictionary by Han Shaogong,” the author presents the viewpoint that “A Dictionary of Maqiao” was a part of the “Search for Roots” movement, where Han tried to, “rediscover China’s cultural past through a critical appropriation.” The article presents quotes from Han Shaogong about the ability to write inspirational national literature from the “blood-soaked book of history.” The author also revealed an aspect to Han’s opinion on how we should look at the past with Han’s use of the word xixiu, which means absorption. Han wanted to look at the past and be able to absorb what happened and learn from it, but still have tradition and culture present in this modern time. Han shows that with both tradition and progressive values in culture, the society will flourish better than if only one is focused

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