Mao Zedong: Multiple Choice

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Mao Zedong, the big man of Chinese communism, is a strange case as political cults go. While he definitely had a pretty strong cult thing going on during his reign, his cult of personality took an unexpected leap to the next level in the 1980s, a decade after his death. Over time, the public started viewing him as “god-man,” a sort of saint with certain human features, but who nevertheless projected a strong aura of power and authority. There’s also the fact that technically, his stated message of making all men equal could be seen as something of a messiah figure for the common man … again, if you forget all the awful stuff. The profitable lines of Mao-related merchandise presumably didn’t hurt, either.

Being a Communist country, China generally disapproves “spontaneous” cults, but evidently, the one formed around the Great Helmsman managed to scrape by. The more the intellectuals of the country proclaimed their distaste for Mao, the more the commoners (who, in turn, saw the intellectuals as lazy and greedy) liked him. And so, by 1993, there was already a statue of Mao that was said to perform miracles.

Choose the answer (A, B, C, or D) which you think fits best according to the text.

1. After Mao’s death the big man

A had no more any strong cult

B having the personal cult reigned for another decade

C was still viewed as a sort of saint

D did not project a strong aura of power

2. While ordinary people liked the Great Helmsman

A the intellectuals expressed an unfavorable opinion about him

B the merchandisers were lazy enough

C the rich erected the statue of Mao

D the intellectuals praised him publicly

1.C; 2.A