Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress 4 Essay

Words: 1323
Pages: 6

Storytelling can be found in every corner of the world. It is used to pass the time, tell of past or current events, and is the way that we communicate with each other. In Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie, storytelling occurs during times of hopelessness when life seems hard and allows the characters to live vicariously through the tales told. The narrator and Luo use storytelling as an escape from reality in times of desperation. The tailor is influenced by the stories to the point where he changes the style of clothing he creates to escape the boundaries of Mao approved clothing. The importance of storytelling to the little seamstress is that she learns the importance of beauty, and is able to leave the current life …show more content…
The narrator tells the tale of The Count of Monte Cristo over nine whole nights to the tailor and Luo. The tailor inevitably picked up ideas from the French novel which influenced the clothes he made for the villagers. ¡§Dumas would have been most surprised to see the mountain men sporting sailor tops with square collars that flapped in the breeze.¡¨ (Sijie p. 135) Also, ¡§The blue sailor trousers mentioned by Dumas and copied by his disciple the old tailor conquered the girls¡¦ hearts with their fluttering bell-bottoms.¡¨ (Sijie p. 135) The narrator recalls that, ¡§The tailor asked us to draw a five-pointed anchor, and for several years it became the most popular decorative feature in female fashion on Phoenix Mountain.¡¨ (Sijie p. 135) Alexander Dumas¡¦ novel allowed the tailor to escape his mental reality by creating new boundaries from which he created new styles of clothing. The sailor inspired fad swept through the villages like crazy as the tailor left the Mao jackets in the dust.

Instead of leaving Mao in the dust, The Little Seamstress leaves her old mountain life in search of a better, more civilized lifestyle. When the narrator and Luo are stealing four-eyes¡¦ suitcase of forbidden books, they stop to reflect upon what they are doing. Luo has the final word before leaving the hut in which he says, ¡§With these books I shall transform the Little Seamstress. She¡¦ll never be a simple mountain girl again.¡¨ (Sijie p. 105) Luo wanted to