Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress
What is the ironic result in his success in making the Little Seamstress more Sophisticated?
What does this suggest about attempting to change others to ones beliefs or desires?
Communism came to power in China in the year 1949 and was dictated by Mao Zedong, who later ordered for all educated men and women of China to be reeducated in the countryside. Lou and the narrator were just two of many thousands to be sent off to be reeducated. Lou and the narrator then meet the Little Chinese Seamstress, and Lou, as well as the narrator to an extend fall in love with her.
The result of Lou's actions to re-educate the Little Seamstress to be more sophisticated and cultured, may be viewed by many as ironic as it leads to her leaving the village. The Seamstress's imagination was opened and she planned to discover herself in the large cities of China. By reeducating The Little Seamstress Lou is defying communism and this is shown through a number of symbolic items throughout the book. These defiant acts lead to what Mao Zedong had feared which was an up rise, which Lou had triggered unknowingly, sparking this defiance.
Through Lou's loss of The Little Seamstress, the novel shows that you can't change people to be what you want.
And through this chain of events it shows how Communism doesn't work
The idea that resulted in the Little Seamstress leaving the mountain maybe viewed as ironic by the reader. The ideas of being different and individual, that Lou held and put to practice were what communist Leader Chair man Mao Zedong originally feared. This was why the texts were originally banned in the first place, and viewed as revolutionary trash. As it was thought that they may result in an uprising of the public of China
An example of the defiance is Loa instance in reeducating The Little Seamstress. But reading her the stories he would make
"her more refined, more cultured"
Lou shows little respect for the Little Seamstress thoughts, as he seems to be doing this for himself with little consideration to possible results.
However after listening to the stories the Little Seamstress wishes for something to give her simple existence more meaning. As she suggested to the boys to steal the suitcase from Four Eyes so that they would be able to read them to her. She states how Balzac's words
"made her fell good, and more intelligent."
This may give the reader the impression that maybe that be it was not just Lou that planned to make changes in her life, but it was her. She was the one that wanted to explore the world and find out more about who she really is.
Throughout the novel Lou goes against some of the Communists laws, and there are a number of reminders that there is no escaping its grasp, and it will...