Essay on Under the Red Flag, by Ha Jin

Essay on Under the Red Flag, by Ha Jin

Length: 1180 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Ha Jin’s Under the Red Flag, the author interweaves different stories to showcase the individuals’ struggle to go against their natural instincts, as a means to comply with New China’s standards. These standards have been dictated by the political enforcers, and have established a new underlying moral basis that is expected of everyone to comply with. Although the stories are quite different, the connection they share is clearly explicated—they all combat the societal pressures to change themselves or face the consequences of being different. Two characters in particular: Ding Liang and Zhu Wenli, reveal the result of two different choices made.
Winds and Clouds over a Funeral brings light to the subject of an old woman’s death and her request that violates New China’s protocol. Before she dies, she tells her family that she wants to be buried; however, “nowadays the government encouraged people to cremate the dead in order to preserve arable land,” otherwise, “there would be no more land for growing crops if burials were not stopped” (46). The government explains that the shortage in “arable land” is a direct result of the many burials that have occurred over time. According to them, if the people do not act responsibly and cremate instead, they will contribute to future agricultural strains and would essentially lead to the depletion of the nation’s food source. Here, the audience is able to see the challenge ahead. Ding wants to fulfill his mother’s last request, which is to give her the proper burial that respects her traditional mindset. However, he faces the pressure of being “the head of the commune,” seeing the “thousands of eyes [that] are staring at [him]” (49). His decision to go against the government’s demands ca...


... middle of paper ...


...as experienced in the novel. They often encounter external pressures that society imposes on them and if they choose not to comply, they are subject to the consequences of individualism. The laws of New China are underlying and not clearly expressed; however, there is a sense of societal acceptance for the ethical construct of these new protocols. The power held by the party is depicted in the characters’ decisions to go against their innate wants and conform to what is regarded as the correct behavior. Their fates become jeopardized, which stimulates their shifts in action. In conclusion, Jin’s novel highlights the influence of communism and how many people are not able to live freely, being that they reside in a society under the surveillance of the party’s enforcers and have no other choice but to respect the status quo.



Works Cited

Under the Red Flag, Ha Jin

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ha Jin's Under the Red Flag Essay

- In Ha Jin’s Under the Red Flag, the author interweaves different stories to showcase the individuals’ struggle to go against their natural instincts, as a means to comply with New China’s standards. These standards have been dictated by the political enforcers, establishing a new underlying moral basis that is expected of everyone to comply with. Although the stories are quite different, the connection the characters share is clearly depicted—they all combat the societal pressures to change themselves or face the consequences of being different....   [tags: story analysis]

Strong Essays
1203 words (3.4 pages)

Flag Power in The Red Badge of Courage Essays

- Flag Power in The Red Badge of Courage       Henry Fleming, after receiving his red badge of courage‹a blow to the head‹takes over the role of color-bearer during a vicious combat. As he sees his comrade sink to the ground in pain, he fights with his friend Wilson for the esteemed position of flag-bearer and finally wrenches the Union colors from the grasp of the dying man. With the flag in hand, Henry feels immediately empowered; the ubiquitous symbol of freedom and courage invests him with his own power and valiancy as he rushes headlong towards the enemy lines....   [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]

Strong Essays
1161 words (3.3 pages)

United States Flag Essay

- ... However, the United States has had many different designs of the flag. With more states being added, it would be difficult to not create new flag designs. In the year 1795 Vermont and Kentucky were added, which caused the stars and stripes to raise to 15 instead of 13. In the years 1796 through 1817 the states Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi joined the United States. Then the Act of April 4, 1818 called for 13 stripes and a star for each state. December in the year 1818 Illinois joined, which added another star to the flag....   [tags: grand union flag, national anthem]

Strong Essays
1792 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about Saboteur by Han Jin

- “Saboteur” by Han Jin Saboteur, written by Ha Jin exposes a difficult period of China: the Cultural Revolution and its consequences on people’s life. Through the author’s skillful use of setting, symbolism and the main character’s dynamism, the reader is able to understand the theme of the story that is revenge. The setting of a story has a ponderous influence on the reader’s perception as it often justifies a character’s behavior. In Saboteur, the story takes place in communist China as witnessed by the concrete statue of Chairman Mao in the middle of the square....   [tags: Saboteur Han Jin Essays]

Strong Essays
1342 words (3.8 pages)

The American Flag Essay

- When you see the American flag, what is the first thing that pops into your head. Is it a war. A relative. A political leader. What. For me, I usually think of the Star Spangled Banner. I grew up on a military base in Germany. If the flag were being raised or lowered, you would see soldiers, and even civilians, standing at attention, saluting the flag. In a parade, as the flag was being carried in front by one of the brigades, everyone held his or her hand over his or her heart as the flag passed that person....   [tags: Patriotism America Flag]

Strong Essays
1170 words (3.3 pages)

The Confederate Flag Essay

- The Confederate Flag On January 1992 the NAACP put in affect a boycott on South Carolina to pressure the state to remove the Confederate flag off of its Statehouse in Columbia. The boycott is what initially brought life to this issue. The NAACP’s removal request is based on the fact that they, the anti-flag groups, claim that the meaning of the Confederate flag is one of hate and discrimination. On the other hand, there are other groups that believe differently whom are called the pro-flag groups....   [tags: Flag Argumentative Persuasive Paperes]

Strong Essays
2310 words (6.6 pages)

The Debate with "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance Essay

- There is a two word phrase in a thirty-one word sentence that has caused one of the largest debates in the U.S. history. The wording of the Pledge of Allegiance has been debated since the phrase “under God” was added in 1954. It was on Flag Day in 1954 that President Eisenhower and congress changed the phrase “one nation indivisible” to “one nation, under God, indivisible" (Haynes, Chaltain, and Glisson 154). The Knights of Columbus had urged the change to make it different than similar pledges that were recited by “godless communists” (O’Connor 1)....   [tags: congress, religious, flag, country]

Strong Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Is Flag Burning protected under the First Amendment?

- Is Flag Burning protected under the First Amendment. There is a proposed amendment to make flag burning illegal. Congress tried to pass the Flag Protection Act of 1989, but the act failed because it is seen as a form of public protection. There have been other attempts to pass legislation to protect the American flag but all of the attempts have failed so far. Flag burning is very controversial because people have different definitions of what “freedom of speech” means and what our flag stands for....   [tags: Persuasive, Exemplification Essay]

Free Essays
1567 words (4.5 pages)

The Confederate Flag’s Heritage of Hate Essay

- The Confederate Flag’s Heritage of Hate The Confederate flag has now become a hot issue for South Carolina, which is the last state to have the original Confederate flag still flying on its Statehouse. What got the State’s attention was the economic boycott of South Carolina that was announced on January 1992 by the NAACP to pressure the State to remove the Confederate flag off of its Statehouse in Columbia. The NAACP’s removal request is based on the fact that they, the anti-flag groups, claim that the meaning of the Confederate flag is one of hate and discrimination....   [tags: Confederate Flag South Carolina Essays]

Strong Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

The Confederate Flag Dispute Essay

- The Confederate Flag Dispute The start of the Confederate flag controversy was due to the request of the NAACP to remove the flag off of South Carolina’s Statehouse. This request is based on the fact that they, the anti-flag groups, claim that the meaning of the Confederate flag is one of hate and discrimination. On the other hand, there are other groups that believe differently whom are called the pro-flag groups. They claim that the flag is a sign of heritage and should stay on the Statehouse....   [tags: Confederate Flag Essays]

Strong Essays
1238 words (3.5 pages)