Chapter 16

Education and the Training of Troops


Chapter 16 of Quotations is about education and training troops. It explains that being educated means to develop intellectually, morally, and physically. To then become a worker with a socialist conscious and culture. When it comes to training troops their motto is "Officers teach soldiers, soldiers teach officers, and soldiers teach each other". Mao explains that the primary objective is to perfect technique and the secondary objective is to improve tactics.

"Officers teach soldiers, soldiers teach officers, and soldiers teach each other" (Mao 41)

This quote is the motto of Maos Red Army. It is saying that everyone, no matter their rank or status, learns from each other. It does not matter is you are an officer or a soldier who has just enlisted, if you've experienced it and have insight someone can learn from you. This is a theme of communism, people working together to learn and complete a task. Unity amongst people of all classes and statuses is a communist ideology that every major communist leader has used to gain their support.


Chapter 16 has many ideologies that appear throughout the novel Ballzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Education is a big one, Mao feels that someone is educated when they've become a worker with a socialist conscious. Luo and Ma were sent away to be re-educated. They were sent to a mountain to be educated by peasants through labor. Another topic in chapter 16 is training the troops. The troops train by learning from each other, it is part of their motto. In Ballzac the seamstress learns from Luo and Ma with their books and they learn from her. The people of the town also learn from the two boys and they learn somethings from them. They all teach and learn from each other just ass the army does.

Quotations in America

The idea of people learning from each other is present at times in the US. Being a student I've done peer edits before. Receiving and providing criticism and insight on a peers work is an effective way of improving ones work.

Some aspects of quotations aren't present in American society. The idea of education through labor is not around. Neither is a socialist ideology in any way, and out military functions differently as well. Military Officers don't do any learning and do all of the teaching. A soldier may teach another soldier but its most likely not what to do because they're being made an example of.