Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress 4

Good Essays
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 she lives. Throughout the novel the characters use storytelling to escape the reality of life in either a mental or physical way.

Both Luo and the narrator use storytelling to escape the hardships of re-education in their small town on Phoenix Mountain. An example of them escaping their daily lives in a physical way was when they got to leave town in order to see a movie. The boys would go to the small town of Yong Jing, watch a movie, and put on an ¡§oral cinema show¡¨ for the towns people when they returned.

¡§We got two days off for the journey to town and two for the return, and we were supposed to see the show on the evening of our arrival. Back home in the village we were to relate the film from beginning to end to the headman and everyone else, and to make our story last as long as the screen version.¡¨ (Sijie p. 21)

The narrator and Luo got time off of their hard laboring work to go back to civilization for a little bit. The power of re-telling the movies captivated the townspeople so much that they got to go as often as when a new movie would be released. After attaining Ursule Mirouf¾t, written by Balzac, the narrator did nothing but read for an entire day. The narrator says, ¡§By the end of the day I was

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong’s implemented the Cultural Revolution and spread perpetual fear of death during his rule in China. Educated citizens faced humiliation, exile, beatings, and millions of youths had no choice, but to relocate to the countryside for their “re-education.” He classified books as propaganda and the owners as traitors who should suffer severe consequences. In Dai Sijie’s Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, the narrator and Luo risk getting caught with novels in…

    • 159 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Dai Sijie’s novel, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, is a tale about the love for reading and the thought of romance of two city boys. This story takes place in China during the cultural Revolution and uncovers how the theme of “reeducation” effects the characters throughout the novel. One main topic throughout the novel is the “reeducation” of many characters of that community. The theme of reeducation in the story helps the narrator’s and Luo’s adulthood through the reading of books…

    • 525 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Title: Balzac and the Little Chinese seamstress author: Dai SijieOriginally published in France by Gallimard, 2000English translation publisher: Alfred A. KnopfCopyright: September 11, 2001Hardcover: 208 pagesA novelBalzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a cogent novel that depicts the impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, proves the magic of storytelling, compares ancient and modern, and tells a romantic love story between a mountain girl and two city youths. Two boys are sent to a mountain…

    • 1439 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    will provide temporary, but powerful liberation from one’s own life; but, rarely, does reader consider the permanent internal souvenirs reaped from each hour submerged in the fantastical. In the novel, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Dai Sijie depicts the story of two adolescents from Chinese cities, Luo and an unnamed narrator, exiled to a rural mountain village for reduction during Mao’s cultural revolution. There, they are forced to do hard labor and live as the local people do until all…

    • 838 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    turning points and events which act as pivotal moments that shape the future. This idea of a pivotal moment is reflected in the novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, which follows the journey of three youths during the repressive chinese cultural revolution. In particular, the main love interest and major character, the Little Chinese Seamstress, faces a pivotal moment in the very last chapter of the book when she decides to run away to the city in order to live a more modern…

    • 1135 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Relationship In the novel Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress by Dai Sijie, I can relate my relationship with Diego, and Lou and the little seamstress's relationship because we have numerous things in common. We both try and keep our sexual relationship a secret. Both of our relationships are open because Diego and I express our feeling's with people we associate with, we are also open by letting other people see our body language. There relationship is intense whereas my relationship if not…

    • 955 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    more valuable to the people than the nationalist regime. However, in the novel, this concept is as prominent as it can possibly be in the little seamstress. Although she is not necessarily the main character, her actions and transformation reflect the power of ideas more than any other character in the book, hence giving it the name Balzac and the Little Seamstress. Through her actions, she tells the reader that it was thought that provokes such drastic change. The government was not foolish enough…

    • 1061 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie shows the lives of two boys during the time of reeducation in China and their relationships with literature and the Little Seamstress. While in reeducation, the narrator and his best friend Luo meet the beautiful daughter of a tailor, the Little Seamstress, who lives in a nearby village. They also meet a man named Four-Eyes who has a suitcase full of non-government sanctioned books (western books) and develop a deep connection with…

    • 948 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Sijie symbolizes the repression of unique ideas and culture in The Cultural Revolution through Four Eyes’ manipulation of the millers’ songs. In his desperation to escape reeducation, Four Eyes strips the traditional ballads of their substance in favor of government propaganda. When the character of Four Eyes is first introduced, he is written as being, while not particularly benevolent, meek and appeasing. The narrator describes him as “liv[ing] in perpetual…

    • 388 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Freedom of thoughts “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” by Dai Sijie, and “At the Center of the Storm” by Rae Yang describe one of the difficult time in Chinese population, during the China’s Cultural Revolution time. The Cultural Revolution had a great impact on the people especially young student’s education, and their freedom of thoughts. These characters attitude towards the Cultural Revolution was based on how the Cultural Revolution affected their freedom. For Yang the Cultural…

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays