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Bao Bao's Odyssey: From Mao's Shanghai to Capitalist Hong Kong - Paul Ting - Google книги

About this Item: Condition: New. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 4. Condition: UsedAcceptable. More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. Item added to your basket View basket. These personal insights lend the book's narrative voice authority.

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Its omniscient narrator skips from describing Bao Bao's immediate circumstances to the thoughts of other characters. The overall effect of this narrative style is to create the mood of a grandfatherly figure telling a tale to a designated audience. Furthermore, the story does not always revolve around Bao Bao, but rather, it also reveals the experiences of his relatives and friends.


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By giving other characters, including farmers and workers, a voice to express their discontent with the regime, Ting is able to paint a more complete picture of Chinese society in 50's. And everyone has a legitimate reason to complain. The story opens with students staying up all night to write political posters to demonstrate their "revolutionary zeal. Personal privacy is utterly shattered when the party begins to actively encourage children to denounce their parents for any signs of disobedience.

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Once denounced, these parents end up labelled as "politically backwards," "anti-revolutionary" or "rightest. By pitting everyone against everyone else, Mao effectively destroys any trace of social cohesion. Fear pervades every corner of society, destroying sympathy and reason. The novel also relates how personal freedom and choice are ruthlessly taken away from the common people. No one is allowed to travel or to choose their profession; everything from one's job to the amount of food each family receives is regulated by the state.

The regime also tries to control individual thought through constant propaganda. At one point, Bao Bao perceptively notes that Mao prefers to brainwash the younger generation, which he terms as "easily manipulated" akin to blank pages, whereas intellectuals who are too experienced to be fed lies are like used paper and thus must be exterminated.


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Mao's evils do not end there. In the book, the "savior of China" is revealed to be a selfish tyrant with absolutely no regard for human life when he tries to stir up a nuclear war on Chinese soil near the Taiwan Strait. This same disregard for humanity is also seen in Mao's suicidal mass exportation of food coupled with an encouragement of population growth, as well as a tripling of workers during the "Great Leap Forward.

Food, however, is not the only shortage in Mao's China, and human liberty and dignity are also scarce.

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Families are torn apart and destroyed in labour camps during the "Hundred Flowers Campaign" and in its aftermath. Yet Mao tolerates no criticism save blind obedience and worship. What I really appreciate about Bao Bao's Odyssey is that it maintains a simple and straightforward style. Paul Ting's dialogues succinct and to the point, perhaps as the result of his effort to stay as objective and neutral as possible; hard as this may, considering the book's weighty political themes.

Legal Thoughts between the East and the West in the Multilevel Legal Order

Ting language may not be emotionally charged, but the descriptions of the atrocities and the suffering of the Chinese people is enough to chill your bones and get your blood boiling. Ting's characterisation of Bao Bao is also clever and effective. In the beginning, he portrays the young man as a devoted follower of Mao, and, throughout the book, Bao Bao is forced to continually justify the leader's actions to himself.

Through this inner conflict, Ting offers a convincing psychological exploration of the effects of growing up under communist propaganda and what it takes to rationalise party lies. Bao Bao's struggles also show the power of propaganda and the absurd logic of the regime.