Essay Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

1315 Words 6 Pages
Storytelling can be found in every corner of the world. It is used to pass the time, tell of past or current events, and is the way that we communicate with each other. In Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie, storytelling occurs during times of hopelessness when life seems hard and allows the characters to live vicariously through the tales told. The narrator and Luo use storytelling as an escape from reality in times of desperation. The tailor is influenced by the stories to the point where he changes the style of clothing he creates to escape the boundaries of Mao approved clothing. The importance of storytelling to the little seamstress is that she learns the importance of beauty, and is able to leave the current life …show more content…
The narrator says, ¡§By the end of the day I was feeling quite at home in Nemours, imagining myself posted by the smoking hearth of her parlour in the company of doctors and curates.¡¨ (Sijie p. 60) This allows him to escape the hardships of mountain life on a mental level by imagining that he is taking part in the experiences and situations in the story. After stealing a suitcase full of western novels from their friend four-eyes, the narrator becomes infatuated by book one of Jean-Christophe. As he put it, ¡§To me it was the ultimate book: once you read it, neither your own life nor the world you lived in would ever look the same.¡¨ (Sijie p. 117) The narrator takes the words of Jean-Christophe to heart and is filled with the desire to live through this re-education in order to experience love, sex and a free individual action against the world. In a way, the narrator and Luo envied the characters in the western novels that they read daily. They wanted to escape the reality of the conditions they were living under to experience the same freedoms as their favorite characters, and not be burdened by the controlling power of Mao and his communist ways.

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