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Garcia, A.

The Red Guard

posted Jun 13, 2010, 6:39 PM by Andres Garcia

Pick an event/group/person from the book that you want to learn more about. Research and report your findings.


After researching more on the revolution movement group, the Red Guards, I found out many interesting things. Such as that the first group of people to call themselves this was group of University students who were unhappy with the way that there school was being operated which caused them to meet secretly.

Now what actually got more of the nation to join the group was actually when Moa allowed them broadcast their voices on the national radio. And again the tie between the Red Guard and the Cultural Revolution was not there till Mao did something. This time Mao met millions at a rally in Tiananmen Square and encouraged them to rebel and attack. The attacking began small with just books and buildings, but than escaladed in to attacks of people who had ties in to any of the ‘Four Olds’. They were old customs, old culture, old habits and old ideas which often caused many to suffer and even to die by firing squad. The people that suffered were often officials and anyone who was against the revolutionaries. Now what I found really interesting was that the same person who built the strength of the Red Guards ordered to take it down when it got out of control. In 1967 Mao ordered the PLA to attack in order to restore china after telling the students to go back to school did not work.


posted Jun 13, 2010, 6:13 PM by Andres Garcia

Why did the author choose to write this book?

The author probably had many reasons for writing Becoming Madame Mao, but what I feel was the strongest was that she wanted to show a different side of Madame Mao, Jiang Qing, that most people had never seen.  I say this because the author often shows a kind side of Madame Mao and even moments when the author tries to make the reader feel bad for her.

That is really different form the white bone daemon some refer her as. So I think the author was trying to put reasoning behind actions of Madame Mao. I not really sure of these thoughts though because I have trouble myself believing that someone would try to make her look so not evil, since she did cause many to die. So I might have misunderstood what the author was trying to make the readers think when reading the book, but moments like when Madame Moa says “all a woman wants is love” and the whole first few chapters of the book, where she has a hard childhood really give me a sense that the author want her readers to connect to Madame Mao and not think she is evil. Another thought that why the author might have chosen to write this book is to make her, Madame Mao, look like what some may call a slut as she often sleeps with men while discussing important information. I sure got the sense that Madame Moa sleeping with others was way too much.


posted Jun 13, 2010, 6:09 PM by Andres Garcia

If you could insert yourself as a character in the book, what role
would you play?

If I could insert myself in to Becoming Madame Mao I think that I
would play a role in the Red Guard that Madame Mao encouraged.
I think
I would most likely be in this position because first of all I would
not like to die, and the Red Guard was the alpha dog at the time.
Second just because I am a teen alone would probably inspire me to
revolt and I would probably enjoy causing chaos throughout the
streets. I think this would be because I feel that when this Cultural Revolution happen in China, it gave many teen and people a touch of freedom as they were encouraged to revolt and do that they thought was right.  And at the time of the book what felt right to many was to get the all the anger and essentially blame someone for the millions of
death that were caused by the government. So me being really in to
politics would probably along with the many others revolting and
attacking government officials. Lastly if I were in the book I feel
that I might try to also take down Mao if found out that he was the
one that was really in charge of the policies that caused millions to
die. I say if because I think that many people at the time were not
aware of the real person that was to blame. As the government thought
them that Mao was like a god.

New Experience...

posted Jun 13, 2010, 6:07 PM by Andres Garcia

Overall how did you experience the book while reading it? Where you
immediately drawn in to the story or did a take a while?

The book Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min is quite different than the
other books we have read in class. I would like to say for the better,
I cannot. So far my experience with the book has been not well as I
often get really bored while reading the book, definitely the most
boring book I have read all year.
What I think really makes it hard
for to concentrate and enjoy the book is the often use of change
between views. At first I was drawn in to the book because I heard
that there were many sexual moments, which there is, and I was
interested in to how the change between first and third person was
going to work in the book. It ended up failing in my perspective as I
tended to space off every time the point of view changed, as I thought
that I was just re-reading the last segment just through a different
perspective, which I was not interested in. I also think that the
change in perspective were often not in the best of spots and left the
reader wanting more from the perspective. What I also think made this
book not that enjoyable to read is that before reading this book the
class read Q&A which was a great story and easy to read.

The End.

posted Jun 13, 2010, 6:04 PM by Andres Garcia

Consider the ending. Did you expect it
or were you surprised? Was it forced? Was it neatly wrapped up- Too
neatly? Or was it unresolved, ending on an ambiguous note?

The ending to Q&A really surprised me as I did not see it coming what
so ever.  The part that really surprised me is how the author tied in
the purpose for Ram being going to the game show so neatly that made
complete sense.
When the author wrote that Ram went to the game show because he wanted to get revenge on Kumar because he was the one who beat Nita and not to win the money I thought was really genius. I say that because most people who go on game shows do it for the money and
through the story that is all that you can think that Ram is doing it
for, especially since Ram needed money to buy his prostitute. So I
defiantly don’t think that part was forced as it can be felt that it
was thought through carefully , there were many situations that
foreshadowed it, but the foreshadows are only understood once the
reader reads the end. As far as for the after the game show part of
the book, I do feel that was really forced as the style was really
fast summary of what happen to everybody and did not fit in with the
rest of the book for the most part, as the whole coin thing did showed
some of the symbolism that the book was filled with.  Besides that
though I feel that Vikas did it so for the most part the book would be
finished but left some mystery so a second book could be made if he
felt he had to.

Luck and the future...

posted Jun 13, 2010, 3:49 PM by Andres Garcia

Despite his lack of formal education, Ram is able to answer twelve questions correctly in order to win a billion rupees. Was this pure luck, or do you think he'll always be able to find the answers to life's many questions? What do you envision the future holds for Ram?

Every question that was asked to Ram in the game show, Ram had the answer whether it was because of the game helped him or he already knew the answer. This just shows that you do not need to be book smart to be successful as street smart surely was the thing that helped ram in the game show. What I feel that the author want the readers to think is that this was truly luck or as the movie, Slumdog millionaire states, D. Destiny as specific moments of life all combined cannot be all brought together like that. So I think that all of life moment combined as faith wanted it to. Based on the little information the author provided and along with what I have learned about ram from reading the book I think that his future will be worth all the life struggles that he had to endure to get there. So what envision is that he and his lawyer will fight to get all the money Ram deserves next he will probably try to find a way to stop the child abuser that he faced, since money is power in India, it should not be hard. Lastly I think that Ram will continue to do whatever has to do stay with his love of his life as he does not like being alone.

Ram's Protection.

posted May 7, 2010, 3:09 PM by Andres Garcia

Woman treaded poorly because of their sex?  Do any characters not need Rams protection?
Through out the story there are plenty of people who are treated poorly, but I did notice that for the most part woman are treated poorly. Nita is the best example of this, as she was forced to become prostitute. What makes this even worse is that Nita's pimp is her own brother showing the real inequality shine. When the brother makes it that she is too scared to leave the author shows how woman are treated poorly.

Although the real unfair treatment is shown when Nita is burnt by cigarettes and beat after  having sex with a client and the brother feels that it was her fault for not complying with him. Neelima, the old actress that Ram works for also show that Woman are treated unfairly as she is brutally beaten by the same person as Nita. What shows the poor treatment in both of these conflicts is that in both someone feel that it was their fault or that they deserved it when they really did not. Another female who is mistreated because of her sex is Mackishan, as she was forced by the train robbers to take off her clothes. When she refused to take it off all the way she almost got really hurt. What prevented that was Rams protection.  After finishing the book I did notice that the author sure put that feeling that woman need a man to protect as they cannot protect themselves. This is mostly shown when Ram goes after the men who mistreated the woman and eventually gets them to die in one way or another.

Why R.M.T?

posted May 7, 2010, 2:45 PM by Andres Garcia

Why does Vikas Swarup choose the name Ram Mohammad Thomas?

I believe that Vikas Swarup choose the name Ram Mohammad Thomas for the main character because of many reasons. First I think it has to do a lot with the main character representing all of India as the name show the diversity through India. Whether it the diversity of religions such as , Hinduism which fits the Ram, or Islam which fits Mohammad, or Christianity which represents the Thomas part of the name. One of the main reasons I believe that Swarup choose the name to show diversity of India is because India has a long history of religious conflict within itself that is still occurring today as there is still conflict with India and Pakistan to the north which use to be part of India. This makes me also believe that the author himself might have not chosen a religious of his own yet. Along with that another reason I believe the author choose the name is because the name would make the character a lot more open minded with not being limited to have to do religious practices such as having to stop and pray. That is why i think that when the author wrote about Ram's friend dyeing from rabies, Ram went to all place of worship, instead of only one. This could also fit under a way the author thought of having a bigger audience of the book because it would not be banned from religious officials. That way the author would make more money and it would be easier for the character to be idolized.

Tragic Moments

posted May 7, 2010, 2:44 PM by Andres Garcia

The story Q&A is full of moment that make the reader feel bad for the main character Ram Mohamed Thomas. Most moments are because of the what Ram experiences like all the child molestation and abuse he sees. But that saddest moment has to be when Rams only parent figure gets murdered since he was adopted when he was small. What the event causes is much sorrow especially since at the time Ram was still a child.  Also the fact that the Father was Rams actual father figure makes him feel like if his real dad died. Below is a picture of a image of real young children sleeping in the street of India. The thought that there are really homeless  orphan children out there really sinks in to the mind. I feel like this is what would of happen to Ram if he did not find the home he did.


posted Apr 14, 2010, 7:47 PM by Andres Garcia   [ updated Apr 14, 2010, 8:17 PM ]

Describe Chiapas. How is it different from other places Enrique travels?

Compared to all other places Enrique travels to Chiapas seem to be the most corrupt and the stories about it sure make it sound like hell. Chiapas seems to be a Central American's  nightmare as not only is this there lot of immigration police out on the look for immigrants that treat not so humanely, there is also madrinas which are worse than the police. The madrinas supposedly rob and beat the immigrants before turning them in to the police. That along with the unfriendly natives and gangs makes the Mexican state of Chiapas look like it is cold hearted.

When in other states of México some offer food to migrants in Chiapas the local are fed up and rather turn the migrants turn them in.  And if all that wasn’t enough Chiapas train also derails very frequently which just tops off the danger.

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