Two Perspectives on the Great Leap Forward

Both of the stories we read for this week’s class are focused on China’s Great Leap Forward. In many ways, they present opposite views of the Great Leap. Li Shuangshuang is positive to the point of being propaganda, while Li Tongzhong is very critical of the way the Great Leap was implemented and the starvation it caused. However, I noticed that both stories portrayed the villagers as v ery selfless and loyal to each other. While this was what I expected from Li Shuangschuang, I was a little more surprised to see this from Li Tongzhong. This common portrayal of rural villagers makes me wonder if maybe, despite the starvation that the Great Leap Forward Caused, it may have also increased the unity and cohesivness of villagess. Of course it is also possible that the author of Li Tongzhong wanted  to keep the focus on the shortcomings of local Party officials, not villagers, I am not sure.

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