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Imagine doing something so little, such as stealing a candy bar from your local store or dressing the wrong way and having that petty crime affect your future generations to come. This is what happened in China, and is one of the cultural issues of extreme control that is presented in the book Lili written by Annie Wang. Lili is the story of Lili Lin, a story about a girl born in 1960 in China. She had a normal and happy childhood, growing up playing the violin and enjoying her time with family. All until it got taken away from her during China’s cultural revolution, The Red Guards sent her and her parents, who were intellectuals to a place in the countryside called “Monkey Village” to be “reeducated”. While there, 12 year old Lili had her innocence ripped away by one of the senior officials who molested her. With nowhere to turn and no one to help, she ran away. Lili’s brutal rape at Monkey Village is one of the many examples illustrating how setting and cultural issues affect the protagonist Lili and how she interacts with people around her. Lili’s pain and suffering oddly opens a deep awareness of hypocrisy and betrayal in male dominated Chinese culture.Prove that the Communist party is threatened by intellectuals, in fact label them as the ninth worst enemy to the party. They say they send them to these camps to be be “reeducated” but really they just sent them there to break there spirits and minds.  The Communist Party ruled with an iron fist, it promoted peasant life in the countryside as an ideal and this is where they sent intellectuals like Lili’s parents to be “reeducated”. Lili’s childhood friend Yuan loves money as many Chinese do, but he ironically quotes “Karl Marx’s” saying “Economy is the foundation of superstructure. Poverty and free society don’t go hand in hand. We cannot expect a bunch of starving peasants to build a civilized political system.” (Annie Wang 26). When the communist party says they are sending people to the countryside to be “reeducated” it’s clear that they really just want to break down, or rather destroy there spirits because the intelecules like like Lili’s parents, because they pose a threat to the party because the more the party tries to control, the more resistance there met with from the people. When it’s said that the communist ideals the countryside, I believe it’s because that’s where they have the most control over there people. The peasants are easy to “educate” because they don’t know anything else, “There wasn’t any school, or electricity, and the peasants had never even seen a bike.”  The very name “Monkey Village” implies its a dirty place full of disorder. So if this is the case, why do they send people here to be “reeducated” if the people don’t even know what a bike is? The reason is, these people are easy to control and manipulate. Another issue that comes up in the book is male domination and the suppression of women. “The Communist Party is very proud of its role in liberating Chinese women from such ancient customs. But a women’s private life is still not her own. Those who lose their virginity before marriage are still spat upon. The only difference between feudal times and our own is that back then ‘bad women’ were seen as amoral fox spirits, whereas now they are labeled corrupt bourgeois.”  This is a great example of how the Chinese culture feels about a woman, especially if there impure. Throughout the book the song “Autumn Moon over Han palace” keeps showing itself, the song represents “the sorrow and sexual frustration suffered by an ancient Chinese concubine on a lonely night when the moon is full.” (Wang 45) but what happens in the book is that the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra “puts an extra beat into it, making it powerful and masculine…” making it “become a song about a independent American women rather than a Chinese concubine with bound feet…” (Wang 45). This is not only an example of the Chinese woman getting suppressed but also represents how individualism gets crushed and valuing of group work is emphasized.

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