Summary Of Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

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In 2001, Dai Sijie wrote Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. A book about two young men being “re educated” in communist China. While away in the mountains Luo, the friend of the narrator, meets a young woman, known to us as the Little Seamstress. In the selected passage, pages 151-152, Luo is retelling his account of when him and the Seamstress were at their hidden pool, and the Seamstress got bit by a snake. In this passage, the relationship between Luo and the Seamstress reveals to us that Luo’s feelings for her are fueled by a selfish desire for her body instead of her mind.
Even though Luo has found the Seamstress on the mountain, Luo still wants to leave it. Him throwing his keys into the pool is a metaphor for himself being on the mountain, he feels as though he was thrown “into the depths,” never to be reunited with his family again. This shows that while he has accepted that he may never see his family again he is still upset by it, although he isn’t at all comforted that he still has the Seamstress, a fact that never seems to cross his mind at this point. The negative diction used, such as “plunged,” “despair,” and “envied,” provide us with insight as to how hopeless Luo really feels about being there. If Luo’s feelings for the Seamstress were as genuine as he believed them to be, the idea of staying on the mountain wouldn’t fill him with something as extreme as despair, or even envy towards another creature, such as the tortoise. Luo also wonders to himself “‘Who will ever release me from this mountain?’” He wants to leave the mountain, even though he has found someone that he “loves” dearly. The Seamstress doesn’t seem to pop up in his mind as a reason for him to stay at all. Luo instead only seems to focus on leaving, and never coming back. This selection of detail reveals to us that the feelings that Luo has towards the Seamstress are in fact fueled by a self-fulfilling desire to be less alone while being on the mountain, rather than them being genuine.
Luo comes off as detached and uncaring. When he first throws his key ring into the pool and she dives in for it he has an annoyed tone when she doesn’t come up right away. He says he “got very agitated” he even shouted out “‘Where are you
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