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By Amy Wang, VI Form
Minnie Vautrin and John Rabe: The Beacons of Humanity during the Nanking Massacre
On a cold winter morning, about thirty soldiers came to a house. As soon as the landlord answered the door, the soldiers shot him with a revolver. When the landlord’s wife knelt down, asking why they killed her husband, they shot her as well. Upon entering the house, the soldiers dragged a female tenant Mrs. Hsia out from under a table, where she tried to hide with her one-year-old baby. After stripping and raping her, the soldiers bayoneted Hsia in the chest. They then stabbed the baby to death. Meanwhile, some soldiers went to the next room, where Mrs. Hsia’s parents and her two daughters, aged sixteen and fourteen, were hiding. They shot the grandmother when she tried to protect the girls. As the grandfather grasped the body of his wife, they killed him, too. Five to six soldiers raped the two girls and bayoneted both, along with their younger sister, who was also in that room. Before they left, the soldiers murdered the two children of the landlord, the elder bayoneted and the younger split down through the head with a sword.
This was not a horror movie made for the sake of violence and gore. It was one of the countless cases of unspeakable atrocities that took place during the Nanking Massacre in the winter of 1937. (more…)
By Justin Zhang, VI Form
Red Guards During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Following Japanese surrender in 1945, China emerged as the victor of the Second Sino-Japanese War after decades of Japanese occupation and eight years of total war. A new series of military struggle for control of China between the Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-Shek and the Communists under Mao Zedong, who were reluctant co-belligerents allied during the Second Sino-Japanese War. After four years of military conflict, the Chinese Civil War concluded with the triumph of the Communists in 1949 with almost all of mainland China falling under communist control and the remainder of Nationalists escaping to the island of Taiwan. After the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Mao initiated extensive cooperation with the Soviet Union under Stalin’s lead to transform China’s war-ravaged economy into a planned economy closely following the Soviet model.
As Nikita Khrushchev came into power after Stalin’s death in 1953, however, relations between the PRC and the Soviet Union worsened. Khrushchev began engaging in a process of de-Stalinization, criticizing many aspects of Stalin’s leadership, in particular, the confrontation of the West and his cult of personality. Mao, who emulated Stalin’s style of leadership as he developed his own cult of personality, denounced de-Stalinization as Marxist revisionism, a pejorative term used to describe an abandonment of Marxist principles such as the worldwide struggle for communism as the Soviet Union sought peaceful coexistence with the West. The term was later widely used during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as a justification for the persecution of “counter-revolutionaries.” (more…)
By Bailey Horne, Nathan Laudani, and Luca Vicinelli, VI Form
Pitch Project TV Show Winner: Noise
Police Partners and best friends Walker Gibney and Irvin Demak undertake a horrifying mystery to uncover the disappearance of multiple individuals in a nearby forest.
Walker Gibney, Irvin Demak, and two other police officers get a call and go to investigate a noise complaint in the woods. As they reach the woods, they split up to cover more ground, and the other two officers disappear. When the missing officers don’t turn up, they look further into the matter, and a bigger mystery unfolds. There are supernatural gifts, a fearless leader, and a war that nobody knows about until now. Meanwhile, Walker is facing an internal struggle with his family. The divorce between Walker and his wife has broken many relationships, especially the bond between Walker and his daughter, Sophia. As the mystery unfolds, he must make decisions that will center around the fate of both Fort Collins and Gib’s loved ones. (more…)
By Grace Kingsbury, V Form
The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree: On Cisneros’ “The Family of Little Feet”
Everyone has heard the saying, “the apple does not fall far from the tree,” but is there any truth to it? In “The Family of Little Feet” from The House On Mango Street, Esperanza plays a game of dress-up with her friends, Rachel and Lucy. They are given old high heeled shoes and strut around Mango Street, flaunting their beautiful shoes and long legs. The three girls are catcalled by many older men in the neighborhood, but they enjoy the attention. In the short story “Girl,” the girl is taught of chores that are expected of young women by her mother. Her mother stresses the importance of maintaining a positive reputation and looks down on promiscuity. Due to the differences in their upbringing, Esperanza expresses her sexuality whereas the girl suppresses hers as seen in their prominent accepted hobbies, varying feedback, and female role models. (more…)
By Ms. Margaret Caron, English Faculty
Referred Pain: Societal Ailments Manifested as Individual Illnesses in Dystopian Literature
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
- The Princess Bride
Perhaps life is indeed pain, as Goldman suggests, or perhaps life is only pain when a government’s control and society’s structure become so stifling and warped that its people develop pains and illnesses as a reflection of that government deterioration. The unbearable agony experienced by Westley in the Pit of Despair is not unlike the pain experienced by the residents of the Thieves’ Forest as they are unjustly forced out of their homes; Buttercup’s sorrow at hearing of Westley’s supposed death mirrors Florin’s morning when they hear news that their new princess has been killed; and Count Rugen’s six-fingered right hand embodies a distorted hand of justice. A corrupt prince, an abuse of power, and manipulative treason are made more palpable by a character’s singular screams and suffering.
This narrative tactic is evident in the novels of Atwood, Zamyatin, Abdel Aziz, and Ishiguro. The Handmaid’s Tale, The Queue, We, and Never Let Me Goshare similar authoritarian governments, sick characters, and broken social systems. Offred, Yehya, D-503, and Kathy are broken, ailing humans, but they are also members of irrevocably broken societies and authoritarian governing bodies. These characters’ illnesses are more than mere byproducts of broken government control and societal values. Rather, these dystopian societies with authoritarian governments posit characters’ physical ailments as representative of larger societal illnesses and failings. (more…)
By Lora Xie, V Form
National Identity in The Golden Fish Hook
Research and write about a foundation myth that has influenced the country’s national identity or that continues to influence its identity.
On April 24, 1970, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) used the Long March 1 rocket to launch its first satellite into Low Earth orbit, becoming the fifth nation to achieve independent launch capability.Long March 1 belonged to a family of rockets named after the “Long March” (长征), a year-long military retreat is undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China (CCP) from 1934 to 1936 to escape from the pursuit of the Kuomintang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party) army.The trek was apotheosized by the American chronicler Edgar Snow in his 1937 officially endorsed “Red Star over China.”When the Communist Party founded the PRC in 1949, it adopted the legends about the tribulations and demonstrations of heroism that took place on the Long March as some of its most important foundation myths. These legends are taught in schools and broadcasted through media to promote the so-called “Spirit of Long March,” summarized by Jiang Zemin, the fifth president of the PRC, as “loyalty,” “sacrifice,” “practicality,” “collectivism,” and “popularism.”This essay will analyze how one specific myth, “The Golden Fish Hook,” promotes those ideologies, offers citizens consolation and motivation for adversities, and cultivates patriotism through pride and gratitude.