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Forbidden City Presentation

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Hannah Crepeault

on 10 January 2013

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Transcript of Forbidden City Presentation

-“Hu Yaobang has died. We’re going to the square to cover the student demonstration. If it happens…” (pg.45) Forbidden City
By: William Bell I believe that the author William Bell did recreate the atmosphere and setting of this historical event through his work of fiction. The characters in his novel experience what it was like to be in Beijing when these protests first began right through to the very end. Their emotions and actions helped me understand what it must have felt like for the thousands of people involved in this awful event. I think that anyone who reads this book would be able to connect to his characters and better comprehend the tragedy this really was. I felt like I was in Tiananmen Square the night the massacre happened from the point of view of a young person just like me. I felt the pain, the panic and the fearfulness that most people must have felt that night and it really helped me connect it to my own life. I also believe that the author did do a good job recreating the setting of Beijing and I was never confused as to where the characters were. He used maps and drawings in the book to help readers visualize the main places where the story takes place. In conclusion, I feel that William Bell did a great job recreating the setting and atmosphere of this historical event through hiswork of fiction “‘We have made a union of university students in Beijing’, he said, ‘and we have been on strike from classes. All university students are on strike. We have three demands. We want that the government agrees to talk to us like equals, not treat us like children. Second, they must apologize for violence against students last week.’ He pointed toward Zhong Nan Hai, where some students had got roughed up a bit. ‘Third we demand that Xin Hua news reports stop lying about us in newspaper and television.’” (pg.60) #1- The events of Tiananmen Square represent devastating human rights violations, as many were imprisoned and killed. Read Forbidden City, by William Bell, complete a presentation to help the class learn more about the historical events of 1989 in Tiananmen Square. You must present the historical facts and images in combination with the parallel moments within the novel using specific quotes and page numbers for support. In the end, you must determine if the author effectively recreated the setting and atmosphere of this historical even through his work of fiction. o“…The base of the monument is already piled high with flowers. The students have organized things pretty well, so the people who want to leave something on the monument in Hu’s memory line up.” (pg.46) “…But hundreds of thousands of people just means a lot of people. Most of them were about university age, and many of the people near the monument were crying. There were also a lot of cops.” (pg.46) “That night on the news we heard that Zhao Zi-yang had made a speech in the afternoon and said that he thought the situation would calm down and that there would be no turmoil in China” (pg.65) “‘Premier Li Peng says that Beijing is now under martial law.’” (pg.74)
“…This morning the PLA tried to enter the city. Their objective, of course, was to clear the square because the demonstrations are defiance of martial law. Well, guess what happened? Hundreds of thousands of citizens of Beijing poured out into the streets and blocked the roads! I mean, the roads just filled up with live standing bodies! Nothing could move. People surrounded the trucks and the columns of soldiers and stopped them in their tracks!” (pg.81) “…But on the thirteenth one thousand students started a hunger strike and vowed to keep it until either they died or the government promised to meet with their representatives and to begin reforms… (pg.67)
“…He figured their tactic was to force the government to give in to their demands because the government wouldn’t want hunger strikers in Tiananmen Square when Premier Gorbachev arrived.” (pg.68) Gorbachev
(Soviet leader) Hunger strike “‘…It’s a tall white figure of a woman, much like the statue of Liberty in the states, only she’s using two hands instead of one to hold up the torch. Lao Xu says the students are calling her the Goddess of Democracy’” (pg.93) Goddess of democracy statue Premier Li Peng Students trying to stop the PLA from entering the Square “‘… tear gas canisters…Yes, I can see white smoke. The troops are using tear gas. The crowd has begun to fall back somewhat, but the wind is blowing the gas off the street, away from the people. The crowd is surging towards the troops again. Some are throwing what looks like rocks. The entire expanse of the street is a mass of people…’” (pg.99)
“‘Someone has tossed a Molotov cocktail under it and flames have already started to engulf it. The crowd is forced back by the heat…’” (pg.109)
“ ‘… The troops are dismounting from the long line of trucks and forming up. They have AK 47s with fixed bayonets. They look like they mean business. Over.’” (pg.111)
“I could see it all through the viewfinder, as if I were watching underwater. Long spears of flame shot out at the ends of the AK 47s. People dropped away from the crowd in the street. Some fell in heaps like sacks of grain pushed from the back of truck. Some seemed to leap backward as if yanked on ropes, to collapse on the road, unmoving. The deafening volley continued for at least ten seconds.” (pg.113)
“…In the square, the soldiers mowed down hundreds and hundreds of unarmed people. Every five or ten minutes the loudspeakers on the streetlight poles blared messages urging people to “stop chaos” and go home…” (pg.128) PLA soldiers using violence against University students I believe that the author William Bell did recreate the atmosphere and setting of this historical event through his work of fiction. The characters in his novel experience what it was like to be in Beijing when these protests first began right through to the very end. Their emotions and actions helped me understand what it must have felt like for the thousands of people involved in this awful event. I think that anyone who reads this book would be able to connect to his characters and better comprehend the tragedy this really was. I felt like I was in Tiananmen Square the night the massacre happened from the point of view of a young person just like me. I felt the pain, the panic and the fearfulness that most people must have felt that night and it really helped me connect it to my own life. I also believe that the author did do a good job recreating the setting of Beijing and I was never confused as to where the characters were. He used maps and drawings in the book to help readers visualize the main places where the story takes place. In conclusion, I feel that William Bell did a great job recreating the setting and atmosphere of this historical event through his work of fiction. Hu Yaobang University student protestors Monument to the the people's heroes Tiananmen Square Zhao Zi-yang
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