1) Source A is a description of Mao reviewing a march past of Red Guards in Peking in November 1966. In publishing this description, it glorifies Mao, making sure that his support will increase. Referring to Mao as “our most respected and beloved great leader” it emphasises on his mass support making the point that he is loved and supported by all. This description is a piece of propaganda that will make people support Mao stating his “brilliance” and that he is the “red sun in our hearts”.
Not only does it glorify Mao, it glorifies the red guards and the communist regime referring to the revolution as the “great proletarian cultural revolution” and how people should be influenced by the workers. This newspaper was produced in a communist country where the media is under control so the review was most likely to have been published for the benefit of Mao, and is especially likely because Mao needed support after his reduced power after the failure of the Great Leap Forward; the propaganda was an attempt to restore his position. The purpose of this newspaper in publishing this description was to glorify Mao, increase his support and put in him back in control of China.
2) Studying source B I can see that it is a poster that would have been displayed during the Cultural Revolution. The artist has drawn all the figures happy and enjoying the big celebration. It shows the Cultural Revolution to be going extremely well, and that’s it’s a good thing for the Chinese people. Mao is the biggest figure, right in the centre of the picture, symbolising his central and important role in the revolution, being at the front, leading China forward. It shows Mao’s support from the workers who are holding him up, supporting him from falling down. It is effective at showing that China is moving rapidly forward by supporting Mao. This poster suggests that Mao’s role in the Cultural Revolution is all-important and that without him, there would be no revolution at all.
3) When assessing the reliability of a source we have to see when it was written, who wrote it, and the audience it was written for. Through studying source C I can see that it was written not long after the event therefore it could be written in hindsight with a significant amount of perspective. The events may still be vivid but because it was written a while after some memories may be exaggerated or forgotten.
On the one hand it may be reliable because the author would be older and able to make mature comments, however, we cant be sure that he would be able to remember precise conversation some years later, especially because he was only twelve years at the time. The account was written by a child who is not likely to be bias and more likely to recall actual events, however the fact that Liang Heng was forced to join the Red Guards make increase his hatred for them and make him want to exaggerate how bad they were.
Also he would know what happened because he was there but he maybe exaggerating because he just remembers how scared he was and in just dwelling on that fact. It doesn’t mention whom the account was written for but because it is anti-communist it is unlikely that it would have been published, more likely a personal account. It may have been published after the event to show real thoughts on the Cultural Revolution.
This account is reliable because if he didn’t become a red guard, these anti revolutionary ideas and feelings would not have been accounted if he didn’t really remember them or feel them. Also Liang Heng is willing to criticise something he is part of and people will only criticise something they are part of if it is genuinely bad. He would have felt hard done by, being treated the way he was so he may be willing to exaggerate, however, he would have felt safe criticising the Red Guards after the revolution because there was no fear of them and there was little danger of being made to look anti-communist.
4) Through studying source D I can see that it is a strongly pro-communist message, however source E is strongly anti-communist. Even though they initially have different messages they do have similarities. Both of the sources are destroying anti-communists; both of the figures are strong, powerful and using violence to get their own way. Sources D and E each show communism to be very strong and firmly in charge.
They show the opponents of Mao being crushed learning that there is no choice but to support Communism and that Mao is in control with no arguments. Even though they both show opposition to communist views, the purposes of the sources are different. Source D and Source E are trying to get people to think different things about the Cultural Revolution. Source D is a Chinese poster so will support the Cultural Revolution and support the Red Guards showing that crushing opponents i.e. Capitalists, is a good thing to do in order to gain success, however, source E is an American Capitalist poster, who are the enemies of Mao and so are attempting to make the cultural revolution out to be a bad thing, where they are being asked to speak up and then being abused for doing so.
Even though the message of each cartoon is that the opponents are being crushed which is the same, the purpose of these messages are different. Source D’s purpose is increase Mao’s support and to make people believe that they need to crush opponents for the benefit of the Cultural Revolution, however, source E is anti-communist and making people feel that what Mao and the red guards is doing is wrong.