The Unknown Rebel from Tiananmen Square

The Unknown Rebel from Tiananmen Square

Length: 963 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Unknown Rebel from Tiananmen Square

It's hard to sit down and write about one great leader alone, there are many great ones out there who need to be mentioned. Although, if you were to go back and ask anyone of them if they would care to have a paper written about them, I can almost rest assure that they would decline. That single act is what makes a great leader. They're not out to seek fame, they're not out to take all the credit. They're there to make a difference, and most of the time they do. Sometimes we may not notice right away, but soon enough it will show.
But what do we do if we have no name to put with an image of a leader? What if there is no way to identify someone who helped turn the tides of revolution? Let's look now at the Unknown Rebel from Tiananmen Square, if you're not familiar with him let me give you a brief synopsis of the event. It's 1989; students, labor activists, and many people from the People's Republic of China were protesting the Chinese Communist Party. They had numerous problems with the government some with minor criticisms, while some even wanted full fledged democracy from the communist ruled government. Most of the demonstrating took place near Tiananmen Square, during these demonstrations many protestors were wounded or killed. The actual death toll to this day remains unclear, it ranges anywhere from 200 to 3,000 or more.
The incident took place in Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government ordered a crackdown on the protestors, and with the majority of them located in the square, they government felt it was necessary to mobilize forces to that area. As tanks were coming down Chang'an Avenue on June 5, 1989, a lone man walked out and stood in the road as the tanks approached. As they neared they tried to go around the man, but he would step in their way yet again. He was seen waving his hands at the tanks, he even crawled up onto one and to this day it's still unclear as to what he said to the driver. But many speculate that it was something along the lines of "Why are you here?" and "Stop killing my people, go away." Soon after he climbed up onto the tank, he was pulled into the crowd and the tanks passed.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Unknown Rebel from Tiananmen Square." 18 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Was the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre a Failure of Civil Disobedience?

- The 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre in China or the June Fourth Incident was one of the most famous student protests in the world’s history. The Massacre took place on June 4th 1989 – the last day of a series of pro-democracy demonstrations around Tiananmen Square beginning from April 14. The Tiananmen protest ended in tragic failure and bloodbath as the Chinese state decided to put down the protest with a martial law. At last, army troops and tanks were sent to take control of the city and were ordered to clear the square by firing at the crowd of protesters....   [tags: Tiananmen Square, Civil Disobedience]

Research Papers
1538 words (4.4 pages)

The Rape of Nanking and Tiananmen Square Essay

- Throughout history, genocide has been one of the most devastating human calamities. The Rape of Nanking, or the Nanking Massacre is an example of one of the worst genocides in history. This event was so horrific that it is sometimes referred to as the “forgotten Holocaust” (The Rape). Beginning on December 13, 1937, Japan invaded China and “the mass execution of soldiers and the slaughtering and raping of tens of thousands of civilians took place in contravention of all rules of warfare” (The Rape)....   [tags: Genocide, Massacres, History]

Research Papers
1908 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on The Massacre at Tiananmen Square

- The Massacre at Tiananmen Square The protests in China during 1989 were for a good cause, but were ended in the worst possible way. Mao Zedong brought Communism into china with violence and even after his death, with a new leader, the violence continued. The Chinese Government made a huge mistake by using force to end a peaceful protest. “After the 1912 revolution, two groups began to compete for the leadership of China. One group, the Nationalists, was led by Chiang Kai-shek while Mao Zedong was the head of the second group, the Communists....   [tags: World History]

Research Papers
861 words (2.5 pages)

The Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 in Beijing, China Essay

- The Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 in Beijing, China On June 3rd, 1989 in Tiananmen Square in Communist China’s capital of Beijing, protestors were silenced by military violence. Tiananmen, ironically, translates into “gate of heavenly peace”. Chinese troops arrested and killed thousands of civilians who were protesting for more governmental transparency and democracy. Protests had been gaining momentum since 1985, and grew to as much as 1.2 million protestors, led by students, in Beijing in May of 1989....   [tags: notorious human rights violations]

Research Papers
984 words (2.8 pages)

A Historical And Historical Events Of Tiananmen Square Essay

- June 5, 1989, a young man stands in front of a line of tanks, with thousands of protestors behind him in the midst of what is known as the Tiananmen Square; symbolizing one of many uprisings against repression and civil unrest in China. Since the construction of Tiananmen Square in 1651, it has been the focal point of protests and historical events. The significance of this large city structure which is located in Beijing, China, has both a historical and political importance. Historical for its national museums, mausoleums, monuments, and the Forbidden City which is to the north and dates back to the 1420’s during the Ming Dynasty....   [tags: Mao Zedong, People's Republic of China]

Research Papers
1438 words (4.1 pages)

The Causes of the Tiananmen Square Massacre Essay

- The Causes of the Tiananmen Square Massacre I have been asked to look at the Tiananmen Square massacre and to find the long and short term causes for the unfateful event in which thousand of people were killed. The main political party in china was the Kuomintang this was a nationalist party who supported capitalism. In 1935 Mao Tse Tung became the chairman of the communist party. By 1946 conflict between the communists and the Kuomintang (the party that was ruling) turned into a full-scale civil war....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1371 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Tienanmen Square: Where was the Violence?

- Were civilian casualties more extensive inside or outside of Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989. A) Plan of Investigation The bloodshed at Tiananmen Square in Beijing shocked the world. As a result of large-scale Chinese cover-up the public knew little about the deaths that occurred on the morning of June 4th 1989. The aim of this investigation is to find out where the casualties were most extensive. The information needed to answer this question would not be provided for 11 years after which documents began to surface helping explain the unknown tragedy....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
2002 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Tiananmen Square Massacre

- Tiananmen Square Massacre Many photographs pass our eyes each day. Only few make a mark in history. Tiananmen Square, Beijing, and the photograph by Jeff Widener has its rightful place in history. Who can forget the shocking image of the single male student standing in front of a line of four tanks lined up one behind the other. His body seeming to be no match to the machines that were dispatched to serve a purpose. Tiananmen Square was the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The largest square in the world held up to a million people at once....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
593 words (1.7 pages)

The Media During the Tiananmen Square Protests Essay

- The Media During the Tiananmen Square Protests There will always be talk about the biases of the media and the perspective in which it takes when reporting the news; however, when the news is run by the government and the people who write the news are threatened to withdraw from their positions because they will not write propaganda, it becomes a serious issue that can lead a country into turmoil. Such was the situation in Beijing, the capital of China, in 1989, during the student and worker protests at Tiananmen Square and the ultimate killings that occurred on June 4th of that year....   [tags: China Chinese Protest History Essays]

Research Papers
2632 words (7.5 pages)

Civil Rights around the World Essay

- Throughout history, people have fought for equality and started civil rights movement to change the world they were living in. The road to freedom and equality has never been easy. Being met with struggles and force, pushing past it all can be difficult. Though Tiananmen square and Oxford happened on opposite sides of the world, there were still some similarities between the two. The events that took place in Blood Done Sign My Name are very similar to what happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The events in Tiananmen Square started to unfold after the death of Hu Yaobang, which was on April 15th, 1989....   [tags: massacre at Tiananmen Square]

Research Papers
1301 words (3.7 pages)

Related Searches

To many this could be viewed as just another protestor trying to cause problems. But I see it as a great act of defiance to a government that has oppressed its people. The courage that it took to walk out against such massive machinery, knowing good and well that it could very well be your last day on this earth, in my opinion is inspiring. He took courage to a whole new level, becoming a world hero of sorts.
This ordinary everyday man stood up to the largest of armies, and showed that he was tired of what they were doing. This form of leadership is hard to explain, despite all odds he stood there. This situation could happen to anyone in regular everyday life as well, hopefully just not the extent portrayed in the picture. The Tiananmen Square photograph should be viewed as a great inspiration to leaders. It could be looked at as one person merely standing up to the problem. Leaders often times are faced with very difficult problems. Some may even appear to be too large to handle. But that should not stop you from doing your best to solve them.
We may never truly know what the Tiananmen Square rebel was thinking, or why he went and stood out in the street. He may very well have been crazy, we don't know. Little record of him exists to this day. What the Associated Press captured that day was brilliant though, the photographer probably had little idea the impact his photo would make on the world. Just as the Rebel probably stood out in the road with little idea as to the impact he would have on everyone who would ever come to see the photograph. They didn't know that they would inspire millions of people; the Rebel probably didn't know that his tank stopping stance would forever be immortalized for people to see. They didn't know any of this, but the photographer just happened to take the picture. The Rebel just decided to stand up for what he believed was right, he saw a problem and he did his best to act out and fix it, and he did it alone, and without any support.
Sometimes that's what we have to do as leaders; sometimes we have to do what we know deep down is right, against what all others are saying. It takes courage to do that, especially when you do it alone. If change comes about, you may be forgotten. You may very well have been the first piece of an intricate puzzle of change, and no one will remember you. It's often not how some of us would picture it, all the work then no thank you whatsoever, but a true leader would not let that bother him or her. They would look back, and know that what they did was for the good of the cause, and that should be all that really matters after all. Sometimes you have the spotlight, other times you must go at it and expect to be nameless like that of the Unknown Rebel.


Ayer, Pico. "The Unknown Rebel." Time 18 Apr. 1998.
Franklin, Stuart. "Tank Man" Second Photograph. 1989. Beijing. Wikipedia. Magnum Photos. 27 Nov. 2007 .
Sudworth, John. "Photo the Bangladesh army cannot stand", The Times August 28, 2007. Accessed November 29th, 2007.

Widener, Jeff. "Tank Man" 1989. Beijing. Wikipedia. 25 Nov. 2007 .
Return to