They live in Toronto.
Alex is worried about missing a year of school.
Father is very busy but very laid back as well.
Father had bright blue eyes.
Father is childish, in a way.
Father has a top notch job and is very passionate. The father is also narrow minded because of his passion.
Mom and dad are separated, lives with Dad..
Alex is a smart kid.
Dad is someone who makes decision at that particular moment.
The Dad’s Name is Ted Jackson
“..it was my dad’s childish–no childlike,he always says–personality that makes him such a great camera man. It’s his crazy risk-taking that makes his work extra special” (Bell 3)
Here, I would say that Dad is now bringing Alex to the place where his hero journey would begin. He is in the ordinary world and doesn’t really consider what might happen to him during his journey.
April 1st- 6th April
They have landed in Beijing.
Alex meet Edward, a famous CBC special correspondent.
Alex was given a Chinese name which means Tall Mountain, because of his height.
Alex has woken after a night’s rest and went back to sleep.
Food is a huge representation of the country, the diner was a great way to experience the Chinese culture.
Mr. Xu is assigned by government to CBC news team.
Eddie Nowlan can be very friendly but changes moods very quickly.
Alex is trying to adjust to the different tastes of China, but he is having a difficult time doing so.
Alex is a writer, no matter where he is.
Mr. Xu is very learned into history, his heritage. He speaks English very well and French pretty. He is a Master of Arts. He wasn’t placed at his preferred place of work, he was assigned to be a translator(communism).
” Eddie didn’t look too pleased as he held out his hand, which felt cold as it gripped mine.” (Bell 23)
Alex is still trying to figure out what to do with all his free time and wondered why China is such a protected country. He is still in the ordinary world
Alex was planning on what he would do for the next week. Alex went to buy a bike to find out more about Beijing. He is allowed to tour the city- the only condition is that he must video everything for reference for his dad and Eddie.
Alex overhears that there could a protest by students at Tian An Men square over the death of Hu Yao-bang.
Hu Yao-bang has died due to sickness.
Alex meets a student from the Beijing University and does a very interesting interview with that person.
There is the theme of injustice because the students of Beijing University are being treated fairly and are being lied about in the newspaper and evening news. The government needs to make sure that it looks good all the time,even in the worst situations.
“…We are not against Communist Party and socialism. We want these things to stay. But we want government to listen to the people and stop the corruption by high officials” (BELL 83)
“…The government will have to get more harsh because if there are demonstrations when the premier arrives the government will lose face.” (Bell 78)
“We want that the government agrees to talk to us like equals, not treat us like children. …Third we demand that Xin Hua news reports stop lying about us in the newspaper and television. (Bell 82)
Alex is homesick because he has a language barrier and he has nothing to do. He has taken Chinese lessons to overcome the language barrier.
Ales is a great observer.
Alex changed his look just to fit in.
Ted and Eddie are becoming more interested in Alex’s adventures.
“As soon as I step outside this boring hotel Iim isolate—totally. I can’t shop r anything unless Lao Xu comes with me to translate.”(Bell 44)
“Lately when i get back to the hotel the first thing Eddie and Dad ask is, ‘Get any good footage?'”( Bell 55)
Alex is starting his Hero’s Journey by really getting involved in the student’s opinion. I believe it is now that Alex will take a stand in the injustice and do something.
May 5th-May 28th
The students of Tian An Men Square are going on a hunger strike.
Alex became involved in the story and became friends with Hong and Lan
Beijing is under martial law. The country was under the highest security ever in the history of the country.
The Chinese government shut down the satellites feed to North America and Europe.
The next protest is not just about the students, it is about the whole population of China and its governing system
The students are now called counter-revolutionaries(enemies of state.
“I wondered when all the students and Lan and Hong fit in to all this. Then I realized it. They were right in the middle.”
There is rebellion anguish and conflict between the government and the people of China.
Alex was skipping school just to continue on his quest to know what will happen to the students. He continues to shows support to them.
Lao Xu is in confused state of mind right now. He wants to help Alex and the group but cannot due to the order of the Party Leader.
Alex is still involved with the protest sand is closely watching what the students and the governments are doing. He doesn’t support the government’s actions
May 29th-June 4th
There is much more to the student’s demonstration. The students’ demonstration is just a front for the leaders of different groups to get ahead in the ‘game.’
There is a shooting in the square and 50 trucks full of troops; Ted says he will not leave the square.
Ted Jackson (Alex’s dad) may have been arrested or/and badly injured.
Lao Xu was shot down by one of the soldiers and there is a huge massacre(soldiers are just shooting people randomly.)
The country is now in a state of confusion.
Alex is running for his life away from the PLA. He has been apparently shot in the back of his leg. He has been taken to a residential house in Old Beijing to rest and restore his strength.
“Something like a baseball bat slammed into the back of my leg, knocking it out from under me…I struggled to get free, but the iron hands held me.” (Bell 164)
There is the theme of betrayal. This is because the students and people of China feel betrayed by the government whilst some of the leaders also feel betrayed by some of their closest allies.
There is a theme of survival.
Deng Xiao-ping(a minor Character) is very deceptive. This is because nobody really knows if he is truly dying or it is just another way to being corrupt and not facing the consequences of life.
Lao Xu is frustrated because he wants to help but everyone around him(Alex’s dad and Eddie) would not allow him due to security reasons. He is also angry because the PLA is ‘failing’ him.
Alex is very concerned about his dad because his dad could risk losing his life; bringing sadness to Alex.
“Yep, and if he isn’t, he’s behind all the troop movement and making sure that moderates like Zhao Zi-yang are ousted.”(Bell 143)
Alex has reached the hardest part of his journey- the approach of the grand trial. He had to find a way to survive during this massacre of shooting and as death was looming throughout the land.
June 6th-June 7th
People are still being arrested, perhap,even Eddie or Ted(still unknown). Foreigners are flying and escaping back to their home country,trying to avoid being apart of the civil war.
Alex has decided to go to the embassy of Canada in China with the people who saved his life to be able to bring the footage of the war to the outside world.
The PLA has planted soldiers at every possible entrance(even the hidden ones) into the city and exits out of the city. Alex and the group has met the soldiers four times by now.
The theme is maturity. Alex is now reflecting on what he has experienced and how he felt about Xin-hua and what she is going through being a young girl in a war-torn country.
Alex comparing between women in Canada and China
Alex seems to cherish the people around him more.
Alex seems to trust the people around him more easily, he allows the them to steer his life and guide him outside the country–even to give him a makeover.
Xin-hua seems to be more and more terrified anytime the group meets soldiers on their path but she is just worried that someone may find them out and kill them—-especially because of Alex(being a foreigner).
“…thinking about Lao Xu, worrying about Dad, wondering what happened to Eddie the night of the massacre–in other words i was nuts with frustration….I wanted Dad there with me.” (Bell 197)
Alex and Xin-hua are now resting in a little hut to be able to regain energy. It is in the morning
Alex and Xin-hua has been stopped by PLA once again. They may risk getting caught with having the films and cameras. They were able to escaped because there was a diversion somewhere else.
PLA soldiers have found out that Alex is a foreigner and they have shot Xin-hua because of the ‘crime’ she had committed.
The soldier has taken Alex away in a taxi to the airport. Alex met his father at the waiting room in the airport.
Alex and Ted had arrived safely back in Toronto
In the end,Eddie was well and healthy but worried sick about the Jacksons’ wellbeing.
There is a theme
Xin-hua really cares about Alex. she is also very clever and smart when it comes to the future.
There is now a relationship between the two main characters in this point of the story. Each one of them care for the other and won’t allow anything bad to happen to them. Xin-hua wants to make sure that Alex gets to the airport-even if it risks her life.
” ‘When I shout, run Shan Da!’…She was the one who should run..”|(Bell 241)
” ‘..I go back to store over there and buy something to drink…I kept one yuan back. I knew we would thirst soon.'” 9Bell 245)
” …but trying to get her to change her mind was like taking the Great Wall apart brick by brick” (Bell 251)