Forbidden City Essay, Research Paper
Traveling to another country, and being situated in some dangerous situations opens
ones eyes and helps ones gain experience. In the book Forbidden City by William Bell,
Alexander jackson is a seventeen year old boy that travels with his father Ted who is a camera
man that works for CBC news. In this novel Alexander Jackson goes from innocence to
experience. He developes as a caring, responsible human being and grows up through his
experience in China. Alex before his journey to China is a typical teenager. Therefore he gets
some experiences that change his point of view during the journey. After his journey he returns
to Canada ;however, he is not a typical teenager anymore.
Alex before his journey to China is an ordinary teenager like the other ones. He enjoyes
playing, watching TV, going out, and doing what ever a teen ager likes to do. One of his major
hobbies is military stuff. Actually he is a military buff and he enjoyes playing with tiny leaden
soldiers that we can distinguish by their clothes. War in Alex’ mind is just a strategic game
where leaders control the armies and change their tactics to conquer the land.
The books that I read about this said the soldiers were
lined up as if to protect the tumulus from desecration but
I’m sure thats dead wrong. It has to be. You dont face
towards what you’re defending-any fool know that-you
face away from what you’re defending. You face the enemy. (page 5,6)
In fact he sees a positive face of war that is intersting and entertaining much like in movies and
When Alex goes to China he gets some experiences that change his life totally. During
those days in China there is lack of free dom for people especially students that make them
In China you didnt choose where you’re going to work,Alex.
If you live in the country on a farm and you want to move into
city you can’t…. Here the news is managed totally. The chines
have cynical but true saying.(page 39,44)
Alex sees the students ask for more freedom and for basics rights ;however, their government
does not respond to their demands. When the students realize that government does not care
about their request, they demonstrate. During this demonstration civilians also help the
demonstrators because they know that the students requests are reasonable and also they know
the government is corrupt.
The powerful men and women in the party got special treatment
in everything, from buying foreign goods in special stores that
only they could shop in to housing to special hospital and more.
They made sure their relatives and children get good jobs and
privileges. They sent their kids to universities in Europe, Canada
and the states all at government expense.(page 91-92)
When the government realizes that it can not prevent the demonstration, they use the force of
army to prevent the riot. The army uses tear gas or even shoot ant people. they do not allow
demonstrators, even civilians, to talk to the army and innocent people like Lao Xu lose their
lives because they want to stop the army.
Suddenly Lao Xu burst from the curb and into the street
running towards the soldiers just as they started to move
forward again. He raised hid hands in the air as if he
imagined he could hold them back all by himself. I could
hear his enraged yelling, Are you insane? What are you
doing? Stop the shooting. The soldier raisedhis AK 47.
crack! (page 156-157)
During this events alex turn from a pathetic person to a sympathetic one who cares about what
is going on in the surronding. Because of this reason he sees himself responsible to tape all the
happens and to smuggle it out.
When Alex returns to Canada with lots of experiences he sees life with wider eyes. He
is sorry for all of his friends that he has lost; in addition , he thinks thatif ther was no war they
would be alive now. His view about war changes, therefore he sees the war not just an
interesting and strategic armies tricking each other. He realizes war comes up with much
destruction that he did not know before. He does not see to the soldiers as toys anymore.
Indeed he hates the military so he destroyes all of his collections.” All the soldiers from all the
wars melted down together into lead again.”(page 272)
We see in this story Alex goes from innocence to experience by going to China. Alex
before his journey is an ordinary teenage; however, when he goes to China and realizes the
government corruption and students demonstration he sees the events wiser. After his journey
he is not a typica teenage anymore; in addition, he is more sensitive and responsible. A human
being should care about the others and similar to Alex that put his life in danger and smuggled
the tapes out we have to be responsible for human being.