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Misty Poets Project. Danyall Saeed, Elaine Ma, Nick Besley, and Maddie Alderfer (Group 1) Period 6 May 29, 2014 Mao Zedong- Danyall Saeed Great Leap Forward & the Five-Year Plan- Elaine Ma Bei Dao- Nick Besley Metaphorical Images- Maddie Alderfer

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misty poets project

Misty Poets Project

Danyall Saeed, Elaine Ma, Nick Besley, and Maddie Alderfer (Group 1)

Period 6

May 29, 2014

Mao Zedong- Danyall Saeed

Great Leap Forward & the Five-Year Plan- Elaine Ma

Bei Dao- Nick Besley

Metaphorical Images- Maddie Alderfer

Purpose and Theme- Nick Besley and Danyall Saeed

mao zedong

“Chairman Mao”

Mao Zedong

Danyall Saeed

Period 6

May 29, 2014

early life
Early Life
  • Born December 26, 1893 in a village in Hunan Province, China
  • He was lucky enough to be born into a wealthy peasant family
    • Was able to get an education, but was ridiculed often because of his background
  • Mao started reading political literature when he got a job at a library
    • He was appalled by Chinese absolutism, and so he began supporting the communists
political takeoff
Political Takeoff
  • After he enrolled in Hunan Province’s best university, he was able to take political control of the school by winning several electoral positions
    • Made a Students’ Army to defend the school against the army if they ever tried to take over
  • Graduated and met Chen Duxiu, with whom he founded the Communist Party of China in 1921
eve of revolution
Eve of Revolution
  • First saw revolution when General Tan overthrew Governor Zhang of Hunan Province in 1920
  • However, since Tan was a Nationalist, Mao and his fellow communists began to plot against him
    • Joined the Nationalist Party to gain position while still remaining Communist
      • Communists- Left wing of party
      • Nationalists- Right wing of party
  • Together, they were able to take control of northern China by defeating the feudal lords
civil war and takeover
Civil War and Takeover
  • After the conquering of the north, nationalist General Chiang Kai-Shek massacred all communists in Shanghai, sparking a split between the party
  • Mao, being general of the Communists, was able to spark a peasant revolution in many cities to rebel against the monarchy and nationalist control
  • After initial setbacks, he put together a string of victories, driving the remaining nationalists to the city of Changchun
    • Chiang Kai-Shek and his nationalist supporters fled to Taiwan and established a nationalist state
reign as chairman
Reign as Chairman
  • Assumed leadership and established the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949
  • Started industrializing China with Soviet help
    • Began two Five-year plans (second of which was “The Great Leap Forward”) which were aimed at ending dependence on agriculturalism
  • Sparked rebellions against anti-revolutionaries
    • Had many people who opposed communism killed or thrown in jail for life
late life
Late Life
  • Began the “Cultural Revolution” in 1959
    • Object was to root out any element of culture that was not Chinese or communist
    • Many people were driven to suicide who opposed Maoist policies or communism
      • Communist mobs destroyed everything in their path in many cities
  • Mao died on September 9, 1976, at age 82
    • Regarded as the face of the new China, who brought it out of the agricultural ages and into the modern world
    • Portrait still hangs over Tiananmen Square in Beijing
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/mao_zedong.shtml
  • http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/mao_zedong.htm
five year plan
“Five Year Plan”
  • The Five Year Plan was China’s attempt to boost their industry and become a world class power
  • Mao Zedong came in power in 1949 when China was many years behind industrial nations, he wanted to change this
  • Same level of development as Stalin’s Russia where communism was feared in the western world and the most populous nations turned to communism
five year plan continued
“Five Year Plan” continued…
  • The Soviet Union was the only country who wanted a treaty with China
  • December 1949, Mao and Stalin met in Moscow to sign the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance
  • This provided China funding and technical assistance to modernize industry in the country
  • Russia provided 10,000 engineers to China and $300 million dollars over 5 years
five year plan continued1
“Five Year Plan” continued…
  • Stalin’s Five Year Plans success and Russian engineers influenced China greatly
  • Introduced their own Five Year Plan in 1953
  • This plan tackled steel, coal, and iron production (heavy industry was major reform)
  • Similar to the Russian model, each factory/mine was given a target to achieve
  • Failure to achieve the target meant failing your people
great leap forward
“Great Leap Forward”
  • The Great Leap Forward took place in 1958
  • A second Five Year Plan that lasted 1958-1963
  • Mao’s attempt to modernize the economy by 1988 (Able to rival America)
  • Targeted industry and agriculture, China reformed into a series of communes
  • Encouraged communes to set up “back-yard” production plants which added a considerable amount of steel to China’s annual total
great leap forward continued
“Great Leap Forward” continued…
  • By the end of 1958, 700 million people had been placed into 26,578 communes
  • People worked for the commune, not themselves. The commune provided everything needed (Health care, schools, entertainment, nurseries, etc.)
  • Major construction built in record time with questionable quality
great leap forward continued1
“Great Leap Forward” continued…
  • Major increase in figures for steel, coal, chemicals, timber, cement, grain, cotton, etc.
  • Party officials ordered impossible targets that couldn’t be completed, resulting in prison
  • People overworked in dangerous conditions, use bare hands if machines break
  • “It is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever.” (Mao on the Great Leap Forward)
bei dao

Bei Dao

Nick Besley

Period 6

May 29, 2014

bei dao1
Bei Dao

Bei Dao was born in China in 1949, two months before communist China began. His real name is Zhao Zhenkai. Bei Daoname is a pen name meaning “North Island”. As a teenager, he attended one of the best schools in China. during that time, he joined the Red Guard to criticize those who took advantage of their privileges. While he was in the Red Guard, he started writing poetry and became known as one of the Misty Poets. Today, he lives in Scandinavia, away from the rest of his family in China.

main theme of answer
Main Theme of “Answer”
  • Denying support of the government’s choices
  • In stanza 2, Dao writes about the ice age ending, which means the imperialism in China. He questions why “is there ice everywhere” meaning he is asking why there are still troubles with the country.
  • Also, he says “The Cape of Good Hope has already been discovered” which means the imperialism is over and questions why they go farther. The communists already got control of their country, why do they go farther to control it autocratically like the former monarchs?
metaphorical images symbols in answer

Metaphorical Images / Symbols in “Answer”

Maddie Alderfer

Period 6

May 29, 2014

metaphorical images symbols
Metaphorical Images / Symbols
  • 1. “Look- the gilded sky is swimming with undulant reflections of the dead.” The sky is reflecting what is happening on the earth. The sky is filled with pictures of the dead, showing how common death was during that time.
  • 2. “They say the ice age ended years ago. Why are there icicles everywhere?” This could be referring to the Tiananmen Square massacre. Compromise had already been reached, so why is there still fighting among the nation? Basically, independence had been won from the imperialist nations, so why is there still inequality in a Communist government.
metaphorical images symbols1
Metaphorical Images / Symbols
  • 3. “You’ve trampled a thousand enemies underfoot. Call me a thousand and one.” This relates to the Tiananmen Massacre because troops had killed nearly one thousand students that day. The speaker suggests that he should be killed considering he stands for the same thing that the “trampled” others did.
  • 4. “I don’t believe the sky is blue” This line describes the dull grayness of the Chinese life and literature and contributes to the rules of literature set by the Communists. This could literally mean that nothing in the speaker’s life is colorful, including the sky because of all the conflict that is happening.
metaphorical images symbols2
Metaphorical Images / Symbols
  • 5. “If the land should rise from the sea again, we’ll choose again to live in the heights.” The sea represents the Communist government and the conflict it brings along to the nation. And if the citizens would ever break free of the Communist government and gain independence, they will choose to live the better, free life like they used to have.
  • 6. “A glittering constellation pricks the vast defenseless sky.” The constellation is a symbol for hope. Dao describes it as “the eye of the future, gazing back” because in the future there will be peace. The constellation is far away representing how peace may not come quickly but it will come eventually. It represents hope because it is the only thing in the dark sky glistening.
purpose and theme

Purpose and Theme

Nick Besley and Danyall Saeed

Period 6

May 29, 2014

purpose of answer
Purpose of “Answer”

The purpose of this poem was to question the methodology of the government as to why they had to go so far to enforce a uniform, communist culture. The speaker denounces his support by saying “I do not believe”. He wonders why the government has to intrude on the lifestyles of common people when they have already taken control of the country and enforced communist policy. He openly states that he does not believe in communist policy multiple times and renounces the fact that it has begun to control every aspect of their lives.

theme of answer
Theme of “Answer”
  • Themes
    • An authoritarian government leads to rebellious people
    • A government can stop a physical rebellion, but it cannot stop a mental one
    • Forcing an ideology down the throats of people causes them to be driven to misery