Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie Essay

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a very complex book with many hidden and double meanings. The book is based on the Little Seamstress and how she reacts to many aspects of life. Although she was introduced later in the novel, she is one of the main characters. The purpose of the seamstress in the story is that she is the main reason why Luo and the narrator wake up in the morning. Almost everything they do revolves around her and Dai Sijie makes this very apparent throughout the novel.

The story, although set during the Cultural Revolution of China, is not really about the reign of Chairman Mao. It is about the seamstress and how she responds to the many actions of
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These boys were much different from many of the other people at The Phoenix of the Sky. Their parents were considered enemies of the people. Luo's father was a dentist that helped to fix Chairman Mao's teeth. The narrator's parents were both doctors. The children of the "average parents could rest assured that, provided they stay out of trouble, they would be reunited with their families after a mere two years of re-education." (Sijie 17) But for the sons and daughters of the enemies of the people, the chances of going back home were three in a thousand. This was a number that Luo and the narrator thought of very often since they knew they were most likely never going to go back home. They had very little hope left and considered themselves lucky to even be alive.

The boys brought a special alarm clock shaped like a rooster with them to their house on stilts. The alarm clock takes on a very special role throughout the novel. Since the villagers had never seen an alarm clock, they idolized it. Luo and the narrator take advantage of that and change the time back one hour so they could get an extra hour of sleep or forward one hour so they could end work early. The headmaster depended on that clock to know when to send the boys off to work. They had changed the time so often that they do not even know what the real time is anymore. This shows the state that the village is in, they do not really

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