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James King

EXAM ANALYSIS OF CHARACTERS OF BOOKS Balzac and the Little Chinese SeamstressThe little Chinese seamstressone of the three major characters in the novel She embodies the concept of coming to age andor maturity and the powers of learning that the novel puts out as on of the major themesShe is uneducated and illiterate But she does enjoy talking to those who are educated so that they can tell her some of their stories The Tailorhe is the wealthiest of all the common folk and he is the father of the little Chinese seamstress He too is very well respected He has a sort of power associated with him as well when he goes to a village he is praised and has the choice of where he would like to stay and also what food will be served It one point there is mention of a pig being slaughtered just for himThe HeadmanThe headman is a minor character in the storyHis job among many others seems to be waking up early checking the alarm clock that Luo and the Narrator have in their room and waking up all the other villagers when it is time for them to wake up and commence in hard labor Agrees with the revolutionThe NarratorThe narrator is a 17 year old boy sent alongside his friend Luo to the Phoenix of the Sky to be reeducated after the Cultural Revolution He is unnamed throughout the novel but his personality is seen through his narration and remarks on other characters He spends majority of the time with his friend Luo In contrast to Luo the narrator is a lot quieter more reactive and studies people very carefully which is why he narrates the story whereas if Luo narrated it it would focus more on himselfHe is also a lot less sure of himself than Luo is He does not have the same manipulative storytelling abilities as Luo but has a special musical talent in playing the violin He enjoys reading Western literature that was provided to him by FourEyes and he displays strong affection for The Little Seamstress despite Luos relationship with her he helps her out with abortion he is sensitive The narrators shyness gives him the opportunity to create a substantial work of art as we the readers see him learning how to write through his narration The narrator doesnt seem to reveal very much about him so all that I am able to do to characterize him is to look at the things he says about other people Story follows coming of age becomes an author influenced by literatureLuoLuo is an 18 year old boy sent alongside his friend the narrator to the Phoenix of the Sky to be reeducated after the Chinese Cultural Revolution He is the son of a famous dentist and is the narrators best friend According to the narrator Luo is a born manipulatorstoryteller He is very boastful confident and can take charge of a situation alpha male He enjoys reading Western literature that was provided to him by Four Eyes He plays the role of a teacher in the novel and is keen on refining The Little Seamstress by educating her using Balzacs literature He is insensitive seamstress leaves him in the end and he burns books Luo is the only one who is named by the narrator representing that he was probably significant to him more than other characters Luo is a male chauvinist as he says I as a male the superior gender who is educated will teach this girl and somehow bring her to my level He uses his manipulative storytelling abilities to brainwash the little seamstress and transform her in to better womanThe Little SeamstressThe Little Seamstress is the daughter of the village tailor She is uneducated and illiterate but she enjoys talking to those who are educated so they can share their stories with her Her role in the novel can be seen as the student since Luo attempts to educate her using Balzacs works She is more cultured than the boys and is shown to be inferior to them since it is the boys that take on the role of making her more intelligent As Luo reads to her the tale of Balzac she is enflamed by the world of imagination and begins to see the world differently than before She shows how literature has the ability to change people and influence their lives as she is seen leaving the boys in the end to go to the city In addition the seamstress demonstrates coming of us as she transforms from a village girl into an independent woman who then leaves her home for the city In the end the seamstress learns that a womans beauty has a price beyond measurement That she herself can become a commodity and that she wants to leave the village and explore a new way of liveFourEyesFour Eyes is a character that lives close to Luo and the narrator in the village His mother is a poet and provides him with a suitcase full of forbidden reactionary Western literature that Luo and the narrator steal Therefore he is significant because he is the possessor of the suitcase containing the literature that the novel revolves around for the theme of knowledgeHe is amongst the boys in being reeducated but is excused from reeducation after his mother finds him a job at a newspaper There is a paradox because Foureyes posses the forbidden books however he wants to complete his reeducation successfully in order to leave FourEyes MotherFourEyes mother is a poetess that provides FourEyes with the suitcase containing the forbidden Western novels including Balzac She is a revolutionary force against Chairman Mao and the government because she challenges the law and continues to do as she feels is right By providing her son with Western literature she shows complete defiance in complying with Maos rules thereby highlighting the flaws in Chairman Maos revolution Throughout the novel she remains authentic to her intellectualism because she continues to compose poems to herself She does not agree with Maos cultural revolution and firmly states her opinion in the novelThe MillerThe miller is the untouched part of society He does not care about the Cultural Revolution and is not associated with Chairman Mao whatsoever He lives on top of the mountains and sings sincere authentic romantic songs that would not normally be approved by the state He provides the reader with an unbiased perspective of Chinese culture due to his complete ignorance for the outside world He is significant in that he also shows resistance to Chairman Maos ideals by continuing to sing forbidden mountain songs He also refuses to inform the state when he realizes Luo and the narrator lied to him about being part of Maos revolutionary force FourEyes took his songs and got out of village with them Chairman MaoChairman Mao is the primary figure representing the Chinese government He enforces the Cultural Revolution which requires all intellectuals to be sent to the village for reeducation He believes literature has the power to change people and influence their lives in the sense that reading is bad because
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