having momentous consequences; of decisive importance
With my red scarf, the emblem of the Young Pioneers, tied around my neck, and my heart bursting with joy, I achieved and grew every day until that
fateful year, 1966.
very pleasantly inviting
The sounds and smells of the
tantalizing May afternoon drifted in through the window.
worthy of imitation
In the corner behind me the breeze also rustled the papers hanging from the Students’ Garden, a beautifully decorated piece of cardboard that displayed
reproduce someone's behavior or looks
He demonstrated the exercises of the great acting teacher Stanislavsky, he
imitated Charlie Chaplin’s funny walk, and when he was reading about calculus, he explained Zeno’s paradox and the infinite series.
money brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
We children would help Song Po-po polish the mahogany table and Grandma’s four prized red-and-gold
dowry trunks until we could see our reflections in the wood and leather.
There was Uncle Zhu, a young actor who had excellent handwriting. Every time he came, he would take some time to help me with my
a test of the suitability of a performer
audition I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
escape, either physically or mentally
After school I would stay in the library until it closed, just to
elude the family’s over-concerned looks.
alongside each other, facing in the same direction
The alley on which we lived was famous for its handsome buildings, and it was wide enough for two cars to pass
Every day since then on the radio we heard about the need to end the evil and
pernicious influences of the “Four Olds”: old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits.
Chairman Mao told us we would never succeed at building a strong socialist country until we destroyed the “Four Olds” and
established the “Four News.”
indicating favorable circumstances and good luck
“That sign cost the owner a fortune. They always said that since an especially
auspicious date was chosen to hang the sign, the store has been prosperous for more than thirty years. What a shame! What a shame!”
the rite of staying awake for devotional purposes
First they had to keep
vigil by the coffin for a week.
one who voluntarily suffers death
We were proud of our precious red scarves, which, like the national flag, were dyed red with the blood of our revolutionary
without mercy or pity
We had often been sorry that we were too young to have fought with Chairman Mao against the Japanese invaders, who tried to conquer China; against the dictator Chiang Kai-shek, who ruthlessly oppressed the Chinese people; and against the American aggressors in Korea.
a member of the working class
. . . tight pants and pointed shoes are what the Western bourgeoisie admire. For us
proletarians they are neither good-looking nor comfortable.
causing harm or injury
What’s more, they are
detrimental to the revolution, so we must oppose them resolutely.
inclined or willing to give in to orders or wishes of others
He looked nervous, standing in his white socks while the inspectors surrounded him, holding his hands submissively along his trouser seams.
in an agile manner
She raised the scissors and
deftly cut the pants leg open.
destroy or injure severely
The students cheered and triumphantly threw the
mutilated shoes into the air.
an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group
“Take your fourolds with you. Go home and thoroughly remold your
in a manner showing anger at something unjust or wrong
“What? What do you mean?” An Yi asked
the doctrine that a person may be reborn successively
On the last arithmetic test you only got twenty-six out of a hundred, and you said that your stupidity was due to your sins in a former life. Isn’t that what you said? Isn’t
reincarnation a superstition?
walk with a lofty proud gait
Feeling they had the upper hand and wanting to quit while they were ahead, Du Hai and Yang Fan picked up their schoolbags and
the state of being emotionally aroused and worked up
The classrooms buzzed with revolutionary
decorate or adorn
The row of tall parasol trees that lined the inside of the school yard was
festooned with more da-zi-bao, hanging like flowers from the branches.
working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
They fill us with
insidious revisionist ideas.
a strong drive for success
They promote personal
ambition by encouraging competition for the highest grades.
as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise
“Yin Lan-lan? A victim?” I was
a deliberately offensive act
Just a few weeks earlier Aunt Xi-wen had complained to the school because some students had climbed into her yard to pick mulberry leaves for their silkworms. This latest
affront was too much for the students to bear.
take one's time; proceed slowly
Yu Jian, chairman of the class and one of the best students, was somewhere in the middle of the line, while I
dawdled so that I could be in the back of the group.
look with amazement
gaped at us in alarm.
She did not want to read the terrible things written about her, but she did not dare refuse. Her face was ugly with
The more you try to improve your outward appearance, the
filthier your heart becomes.
characterized by extreme care and great effort
Remold yourself conscientiously.