Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress Analysis

818 Words4 Pages
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. In this portion of the book, on page 149, Luo and the Little Seamstress are at a private Mountain water source where Luo talks about how he taught the Seamstress how to swim. Luo’s comments and description of how he is credited to teaching the Seamstress how to swim reveal his condescending nature towards her. Luo describes this by using the statement, “ she used to swim the way peasants do,”. With this comment, he is comparing her to peasants to elevate his own class level above hers. Because she is a village girl and he is from the city, she must be a peasant in comparison to himself. He is also very hesitant to give her credit for her swimming abilities which is revealed through the nature of his questions, “What can I say? That she is a good swimmer? Sure,” This hesitation reveals his need to feel superior to her. Also throughout this passage, Luo uses possessive word choice when saying “ I had to teach her” and “I showed her”. This choice of language comes across as Luo attempting to take credit for the Seamstresses impressive swimming ability. He seeks out ways in which he can “top” her, and is unable to admit her talents and accomplishments to himself or the readers. As Luo continues to describe the mountain water source experience throughout pages 149-150, he describes the Little Seamstress using only her physical features, which is telling of his idolization of her for her physical appearance. Luo describes the Seamstress using very admiring diction including, “dolphin”, having the “physique of a true
Open Document