Forbidden City Essay Research Paper Traveling to

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.


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