Power Of Literature In The Novel Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

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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.

In the first part of the novel, the seamstress hasn’t been exposed to any books in her life. Therefore, her actions and appearances are not influenced by literature. This novel highlights her attitude towards her own education level. When telling Luo about her limited reading ability, she is described as being “unabashed”. Despite that she cannot read, she is unashamed and is still confident with her skills. This shows that she is satisfied with herself and her life in the mountains. She also seems to believe that her education level
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The Seamstress has started to be interested in the novels that Luo read for her and showed how she was changed through the new knowledge she has acquired. Luo believed that he could “transform” the “little mountain girl” by reading different kinds of novels. The evidence of this transform began in the change of her attitude towards education. At the beginning of the novel, the seamstress wasn’t really attentive towards education. However when Luo started to read her books hoping to “make her more refined and cultured”, Luo shares the magic of literature with the Seamstress. She began to yearn for more knowledge. Her approach towards books also changes drastically which can be observed in the part where she was listening to Luo reading the book, and “the coat was resting on the flat of her hands, the way a sacred object lies in the palms of the pious.” This quote highlights the passion of the seamstress towards the words written on the coat. The coat is a symbol of education, and it was described to be sacred which shows that she is appreciating literature so much that it almost is like a religious person reverting god. This is linked to the influence of
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