Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, written by Dai Sijie, focuses on the main characters; The Narrator, Luo, and The little Chinese Seamstress. Throughout the book the audience discovers new details about these three characters and the kinds of people they are. The Narrator, Luo, and The Seamstress identify their own personality traits and develop advanced characteristics that they have never had before. The passage on pages 157-158 tells of when Luo is leaving the village to go tend to his mother and has left the Narrator in charge of watching over the seamstress so that other men can't swoop in and steal her away while Luo is gone. When examining The Narrator in this passage, the reaction that The Narrator expresses when given the responsibility of watching over the Seamstress, reveals to the audience that The Narrator is developing unfamiliar romantic emotions and defensive characteristics. The first section of this passage is from the beginning of page 157 to the second to last line on page 157 ending with “was rightfully entitled”. This section illustrates the strength and confidence that The Narrator is developing. Selection of detail is used in this section of the passage when The narrator says “Sole lord and master of our house on stilts.” This line is important in the text because it reveals that The Narrator is developing self confidence and learning how to defend himself. He is learning how to stand on his own and not rely on those around him. Before, The
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In the book Balzac and the Little Seamstress, by Dai Sijie, A re-education process is taking place. Children are being sent away from home for extended periods of time to be re-educated to the government's standards. The main characters, Lou and the Narrator have been sent to live in a mountain village to complete this process. While they are there, they go and meet an old friend of theirs who has something they desire, books. In order to receive these books they decide to run an errand for their friend, Four Eyes. After running his errand, Four Eyes is granted his completion of his re-education process and his village is preparing a celebration for his completion of the process. In this passage, on pages 100-101, Four Eye’s ceremony has
Luo decides to undertake the project of educating the Little Seamstress by reading books by western authors to her in hopes that she will learn from the characters in the stories and try to adopt their civilized ways. The Little seamstress forms a connection with the books almost instantaneously from her first exposure to Western Literature. According to Luo, “after I had read the passage from Balzac to her word for word...she took your coat and reread the whole thing, in silence. When she’d finished reading, she sat there quite still, open-mouthed. Your coat was resting on the flat of her hands, the way a sacred object lies in the palms of the pious” (Sijie 62). The is astounded by the wise words of Balzac and it is and eye opening experience for her. Through Sieves diction in this passage, the word “pious” also indicated that reading books is also a sacred or spiritual experience for the Little Seamstress. This moment is one of the most significant in the whole text, because it makes the beginning of the Seamstress's Transformation, by showing the great effect that literature has on her. From the Little Seamstress’
Stories give people new ideas and experiences along with lessons that they are unable to realize in their own lives. The narrator feels as though he is in the land of Balzac’s Ursule Mirouёt even though he has never before seen France. He is so fascinated with the story that he does not put the book down until he has finished the last page (Sijie 57). This allows him to experience life in an entirely different manner from which he is accustomed. From these stories, the boys gain insights into thoughts and emotions that are completely foreign to them. While Luo visits the Little Seamstress telling her of the stories he as read, the narrator feels one of these unfamiliar emotions. He states, “Suddenly I felt a stab of jealousy, a bitter wrenching emotion I had never felt before” (58). Although jealousy is not usually seen as a good feature and while this emotional awakening may seem like a negative effect of storytelling to some readers, it is actually an amazing accomplishment. Stories provide their readers with a new perception of life. They are able to feel what they have never felt, to see what they have never seen, and to be what they have never been. While these experiences may not be the most enjoyable, all experiences leave people with a more extensive idea of what life really is.
The protagonist, Shinji, in The Sound of Waves can be contrasted to the protagonist, the narrator, in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Shinji found a girl, Hatsue, which he loved, and pursued to go after her even when it was forbidden by her father. On the other hand, the narrator loved the Little Seamstress, but didn’t go after her because his best friend, Luo, already had a growing relationship with her. Since Shinji was determined to win Hatsue’s heart, he went after her. This action of
In communist, Mao-ruled China, children were ripped from their families to be “reeducated” to have individual intellect snuffed out and made to better fit the mold of the ideal communist. Dai Sijie’s Balzac and the Little Seamstress tells the story of two boys subjected to this practice. A boy named Luo and an unnamed narrator who are put through the difficulties of being forced into another way of life. . In pages 142-144 the headman of the village the protagonists are staying in comes to arrest the narrator for telling forbidden western tales. To avoid this arrest the protagonists decided to help the headman with a tooth decay. While the narrator controls the speed of the makeshift drill, he starts to slow down the rotation speed to
Written by Dai Sijie, and published in English in 2001, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a contemporary piece with a classic story. The book is about a boy, known to us as “The Narrator,” and his friend Luo. It takes place in communist China. Luo is the son of a well known dentist, while the Narrator is the son of a lung specialist and a consultant in parasitic disease. Due to their parents’ education and status, the boys are sent to a mountain village to be re-educated. While there, the boys live in treacherous conditions and live life, similar to that of Sisyphus, but instead of a boulder, they carry sewage. The Narrator possesses the skill of playing the violin beautifully, while Luo was graced with a story telling ability. While being re-educated, they become acquaintances with The Little Seamstress, eventually becoming more. They begin to read her stories, which they steal, and begin to put their lives in danger. By then, it gets interesting. One major scene that showcases their actions is when Luo has to tend to his sick mother, pages 158 to 160, leaving the Narrator watching over the Little Seamstress. Within this passage, the Narrator’s usual tone drastically changes into a militaristic attitude which reveals that when he is put into a position of power, he conforms to the idea that he should be emotionless and straightforward, in order to hide his true desires.
The tailor finds another way to escape the controlling grip of Mao. On his customary tour of the villages before the New Year, the tailor decides to stay with Luo and the narrator while working in their village. The two are baffled upon the
In the book Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, the two main characters Luo and the unnamed narrator are sent for reeducation in the Countryside of China in the 1970’s for crimes of their parents. The main characters encounter a village girl known as the Little Seamstress along their travels in the Phoenix Mountain Area and Luo and the Little Seamstress pursue an interesting relationship throughout the course of the book. From pages 149-151, the portrayal of the relationship between Luo and The Little Seamstress through Luo’s perspective reveals his condescending nature towards her and his idolization of her physical features while overlooking the majority of her personality.
Of the many thoughts and feelings the Narrator displays throughout Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, many can be found on pages 42-44. While working in the coal mines, Luo catches a bout of malaria. Despite this, he and the Narrator travel to the Little Seamstress’ village to visit her. Upon arriving, the Little Seamstress gets Luo into bed and calls four village sorceresses to stay with him over night. When they start to fall asleep, the Little Seamstress asks the Narrator to tell them a story to keep them up. This scene demonstrates to us the many emotions the Narrator feels toward Luo, from admiration to inferiority to jealousy.
Love can immensely impact a person so much, entirely changing their character. In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, the theme of love blossoms throughout the story. In the novel, two teenage boys are sent to be re-educated during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Lou, an exceptional storyteller and the unnamed narrator, a talented musician, meet “the region’s reigning beauty”: the Little Seamstress. Both fall in love with the illiterate girl, however Lou has won the Seamstress’ heart. Through the Seamstress’ relationship with Luo, she has revealed a deep fascination for the outside world, developing characteristics such as being curious and outgoing.
The most obvious thing about this paragraph is that it is like a battle. Words are used as bullets in this paragraph. For example, “He couldn’t protect himself from the words and attend to the procession too and the words were coming at him fast.”(143) makes it really seem like a battle. Since he was a
In contrast to the little Chinese Seamstress, showed two young Chinese guys that traveled to a village for re- education, during China’s Cultural Revolution. At the village, Luo and Ma met a girl known as the little seamstress her father was the tailor of the village. Luo and Ma fall in love with the same girl. The little Chinese seamstress could not read, her mother was the only teacher in the village, but she died before she could teach her daughter to read. Therefore, she asked to Luo and Ma to teach her how to read convincing them to steal some books and articles from the character called “four eyes”, to whom steeled and hidden his books in a cave. Luo and Ma started to teach her how to read and also, they read some of the books, one of her favorite book was Balzac. The
The Narrator is not free of such infractions, either. On page 162, when he is reading to the Seamstress in Luo’s stead, the Narrator says he is “merely a substitute reader” to her, but goes on to claim that “She even seemed to appreciate my way of reading... more than my predecessor’s”. He is reading too deeply into her opinion of him, and feels a sense of entitlement to her affections; he tricks himself into thinking she is more into him than she is her actual boyfriend. Later on, once he learns that the Seamstress is pregnant and seeking an abortion, he “summoned every means of persuasion to stop her from running to the sorceresses for a herbal remedy” (page 172). Describing her as “running” off on her own shows his own lack of trust in the Seamstress’s judgement, and reveals that he thinks she is irrational. On top of this, nearing the novel’s end at page 196, the Narrator is indignant that the Seamstress “had not thought to tell [him]” about her plans to run away to the city. His entitlement to her affections shines through once again, in that she didn’t even want to tell her actual boyfriend about her