Image from the Chinese Cultural Revolution

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cult rev poster
This picture is too powerful not to be mentioned. One of the first things I noticed about this picture was the iconic outline of Mao in the background. In my mind, I wondered how much citizens were exposed to his image. In a time lacking in high quality photo/video taking, people did not get to see images of Mao like Americans today would see images of Obama, but yet the outline of Mao is as identifiable as the Obama “Change” poster. The fact that Mao’s outline is so identifiable helps elevate him to an iconic perspective in the minds of the Chinese people. In the case of this picture, Mao is shown with a warm look of approval as he witnesses the Chinese citizen in front of him holding Liu Shaoqi to an anvil, about to strike him.
The next thing I considered is the massive appendages of the Chinese citizen. Sylvester Stallone would even envy those arms. The way the citizen is portrayed is motivating in itself. One could put this poster up in a gym to motivate people to push harder physically. Instead, it is possible that a Chinese citizen dedicated to revolution would use this as motivation to push harder in their revolution zeal. The citizen pictured is as iconic as Mao; the strength and determination that preaches hard work and dedication radiates from the citizen. How could anyone dedicated to the revolution not idolize such a figure?
That brings me to my final observation I made of this picture. If a person is so inspired by such an image of the iconic Chinese revolutionary, the actions made by the revolutionary would also be admired. Seeing Liu Shaoqi, a “radical rightist,” about to be crushed by the brute strength of the Chinese revolutionary would inspire the highest revolutionary zeal, and the greatest sort of justifiable hatred toward “radical rightists. Someone dedicated to the revolution would feel very content about seeing such a figure humiliated in a poster.

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