"Red Azalea"

Essay by shelly24High School, 10th grade February 2006

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"Red Azalea" is an autobiographical account of the main character Anchee. "Red Azalea" takes place in Communist China during the times of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Anchee is the oldest of the four kids in her family. Anchee's parents work all day and it is up to Anchee to take care of her siblings. Anchee is the mother of her siblings more then her mother. When Anchee turned ten years old her family has to move because Anchee Min's downstairs neighbor pretends to be insane and attack members of Anchee's family. Part of the harassment also included piling shit on top of their beds, in an attempt to make the family move so the neighbors could take over their space. At her new elementary school, Anchee became head of the Little Red Guards. Anchee's parents were also assigned new jobs that they did not like but they never complained.

However, Anchee's mother is very unhappy with her job and gets in trouble a couple of times at work.

One day Anchee's grandmother comes to visit and brings a baby chicken for the family to kill and eat. However there is no one in the family who is willing to kill the chicken because they are not brave enough. Then Anchee's mother asks if Anchee who is braver then all of them would like to kill the chicken. Anchee is not afraid to kill the chicken, and goes to kill the chicken. However, at the final second of the killing Anchee backs out.

At school, Anchee is smart and loves the Communist teachings of Mao. She is a true follower of the Mao dictatorship. However, Anchee's loyalty to Mao is put to test when Anchee has to give a speech in front of two thousand people that...