The novel ‘Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress’ explores the transformative power of literature as a central theme. The power of literature is most evident in the character, the little Chinese seamstress.
The author makes emphasis on how at this age the child starts to be more social and to understand about time, space and responsibility to others; also he begins to be aware of his need for others and how he can hurt or please them as well, (Brazelton, 2001). The child starts learning about his gender and his individuality, and how proud and empowered he can feel with his new awareness, (Brazelton, 2001).
Sigie explores how humans interact with one another based on background. In The Little Chinese Seamstress, he directs his attention towards relationships between modern and old, rural and urban lifestyles, as well as government rule and the peoples reaction. During Mao Zedong 's rule re-education was a primary source of levying control over society by casting the youth of learned families out into the countryside. It was there that they were forced to work and be separated from any higher education so they may learn what true labor was. This created a clash in society causing rifts in cultural values and social norms.
There are just a few defining moments in one’s life, when one is not a child, but an adult. In Eugenia W. Collier’s short story “Marigolds”, the narrator Lizabeth recognizes the moments she no longer felt like a child in a heartwarming narrative. Throughout the story, Lizabeth has a difficult time adapting to her new role and has many turning points. Reflecting back on her transition to adulthood, Lizabeth states “... I remember, that year, a strange restlessness of body and spirit, a feeling that something old and familiar was ending, and something unknown and therefore terrifying was beginning”(1)
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, written by Dai Sijie, is set in 1971 during the China’s Cultural Revolution. The book starts with two boys, unnamed narrator and his friend Luo being sent from their hometown Chengdu to a small village in Phoenix Mountain to be “re-educated”. The book continues with them skillfully living through the harsh village life with their talent of storytelling and their western knowledge gained from books. Throughout the novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Sijie illustrates different types of literature and how it transforms the character’s life, action and their personalities in both good and bad way. This book is one unique novel about two boys and one little girl’s transformation by the magical
Imagine you are a rebellious teenager, your relationship with your parents is weakening and your father is lecturing you on the truths of life. Your response is apathetic, yet decades later, you consistently recall what he told you that day and finally begin to understand. These important memories, realizations and relationships are what builds naïve individuals into mature adults. It can be argued that such relationships are the building blocks in the growth of individuals. Relationships between two humans develop over time and depending on how this development occurs, can lead to many changes throughout one’s life, such as personal growth and understanding. This idea is portrayed throughout Joyce Carol Oates’s, “Black Girl/White Girl”. In
Literature, and written works in general, has continuously shown through world history to react to the cultural, social and political context surrounding it. That being said, with a commitment to literary arts one can experience alternative worldly and cultural views to their own and learn new ways to live an authentic life. Once the gratifying freedom of literature has been opened an individual, the emotional, intellectual and spiritual elements of their lives can expand to new heights. In the novel, Balzac and the Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, it tells the story of young men and woman discovering the profoundness of literature for the first time. The book being set during the Cultural Revolution in China, where all politically opposing art forms and culture has been censored from humanity, the central characters Luo, the Little Chinese Seamstress and the narrator strive to find the quintessence of freedom and self-expression through the books they read, even while under the ever repressive nature of Mao’s re-education villages. A more extensive comprehension of the books read by the central characters in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, can allow for a greater understanding why there exposure to them encouraged and inspired escapism from their current situation.
The novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a novel by Dai Sijie set during the Cultural Revolution in China which lasted from 1966 until 1976. Even though the author’s main focus is not opposing Mao’s rule, acts of oppression and the strict control practiced by the government can often be observed in the book. The author focuses on the process of re-education which includes sending urban youth to rural areas. Sijie depicts the mental and physical development of two boys who are being re-educated on the Phoenix Mountain of the Sky. The novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress challenges the concept of re-education and the aspects of the Chinese government by contrasting the Communist ideology to the dynamic character of the narrator, by using symbolism to complement the transformation of the major characters and by including the picaresque story of the Little Seamstress narrated by herself.
At some point everyone wants to be a “grown up,” you can do everything you want, right? Sooner or later we all learn that growing up isn’t as great as it seems and we then strive to have the innocence and lack of responsibility that we were once so eager to give up. There is a lack of control felt by teenagers, everyone wants to help shape their future, but nothing feels quite right to them at the time. Growing up is a painful and confusing time for almost everyone. In the famous coming-of-age novel The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger convincingly communicates the painfulness of growing up through symbols including, the ducks in the Central Park Lagoon, the Natural History Museum, and The Catcher in the Rye.
“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.” These wise words by Roman Payne, author of The Wanderess, perfectly encapture the central theme of Dai Sijie’s Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Sijie’s novel tells the story of a trio of friends who live on an isolated mountain village during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During their time on this mountain, the young protagonists grow up and mature together, bringing the unmistakable ideals of coming to age to life. Throughout the duration of the story, Dai Sijie emphasizes the point that coming of age can often cause people to lash out if their future is threatened, or feel defeated when something of importance is suddenly taken away
Dai Sijie is the Chinese author, who opposites side of the government of China during the Cultural Revolution, which is his childhood that he has to go to be re-educated by poor peasants. The setting of this book, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, is the re-education at that time, and the main characters of this book, Luo and Ma, are re-educated students like Sijie. He uses these literary elements to reveal political or social issues about the social class by the education difference, the area of living, and desire to read.
In the stories ‘Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress’ by Dai Sijie and ‘The Boat’ by Alistair MacLeod, characters that are trapped in a close minded environment use their knowledge of books to escape and fulfil their desires.
Through the course of our lives we are constantly shaped and defined by the world around us and those we choose to interact with. This careful nurturing and preening of each individuals character helps to organize people into different groups and prepares them for the societal roles that they will
The concept of growing up is enticing and dynamic, and as a result, it is a common theme in literature. In its purest form, growing up is all about learning how to cope with the challenges of living as an individual in a vast world. There are countless different mechanisms that can be employed to cope with the struggles that adults face, but three mechanisms in specific are the most relevant to the concept of growing up. These three mechanisms: isolation, friendship, and acceptance, must be developed in order to be considered grown-up and prepared for the battles of life as an individual.