Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Plot Summary
Part 1
Chapter 1
Mozart is thinking of Chairman Mao
Luo & narrator
two friends
sent to countryside
for reeducation
Win over locals
With a lie
Mozart is thinking of Chairman Mao
We Learn
Main characters' background
Middle class
Don't support Mao
MCs' new lives
A punishment?
Chapter 2
We find out about the main characters' parents
Phoenix of the sky
The narrator describes how uncomfortable their living quarters were
The narrator describes the trail to the phoenix of the sky
Luo and the narrator enjoy films
communist regime
We find out about the characters personalities
Country side
Life is hard and tough
Chapter 3
New Characters
an old friend who had been sent to another village
The Tailer
Little Seamstress' father
funny English accent
'overgrown child'
We Learn..
Luo is a great impersonator
Chapter 4
Little Seamstress
her eyes
nice feet
not civilised
New scene, 'In The Little Coal Mine'
'The Little Coal Mine'
Luo is first introduced working in 'The Little Coal Mine'
The Narrator joins in the work at mining the coal, and then bringing it in a basket back to the surface.
Luo mentioned that 'He had this feeling that he will die in the mine', and after that day the Narrator shared his thought of not leaving the mine alive.
The Narrator sometimes has visions of when he is at the brink of death, whereupon he saw his childhood race before him at a fast speed, just like the dying are said to see their lives past by in a flash.
At the end of 6th week, Luo fell ill with Malaria.
The Narrator found a envelope at the foot of a bed, and it was a letter from the Little Seamstress.
The Little Seamstress wanted Luo and the Narrator to come to her village, and talk to her about a film.
Chapter 5
New scene
The seamstress's village
Going to tell 'The Little Flower seller
Most popular
from communist state North Korea
New characters
The four sorceresses
against communist ideals.
Emphasizes the illusion of communism in china
Part 2
Chapter 1
Luo and Narrater's curiosity as to what is inside four eye's suitcase
Luo and Narrater anxiously wait for Four eye's return from work to quiz him about the contents of his suitcase
Luo asks four eye's if he has forbidden books inside his suitcase
Four eye's is not eager for the narrator's help
Chapter 2
Four eyes gives Luo and the narrator the book, Balzac
Luo startes reading the book and finishes by dawn
Luo passes the book to narrator. Narrator stays in bed until nightfall, without food reading Balzac.
Luo finds Chinese Seamstress and tells her the wonderful story
Narrator copies out Balzac section onto his jacket
Chapter 3
Luo and Narrator Gave Four Eyes Food, Enterained him (hoping for more book)
Four Eyes Got his new glasses
Regrets returning book back
Luo told what happen the other day under the Gingko Tree
Luo and the Narrator returns book back to Four Eyes
At this point, Four Eyes has already went to the Old mIller to TRY and get Folk songs....but has not suceeded
Four Eyes is washing his Jacket -Get Rid of lice
Luo and the Narrator quickly thought, if they can do it (get folk songs), they will get more of Balzac's books
Chapter 4
Narrator felt insects crawling all over his body
Narrator imagined 4-Eyes as a wicked witch -shows that he does not like 4-Eyes
Old Miller likes to think of himself as rich as he calls the pebbles he sucks 'jade dumplings'.
Pages 62-66
Narrator and Luo attempt to get songs for 4 eyes.
They have more perserverance than 4 eyes
Suffering represents suffering of people under C.C.P
Shows they are better than 4 eyes
Means they will get Balzac books
Represents their freedom during re-education
They endure the suffering for Balzac
Balzac represents the 'west'
Luo and Narrator act as communist officials
'You would have sworn I had stepped out of an official photograph of a Communist Part Conference'
They don't like Communists, so them having to act like some is ironic.
'in keeping with his secretarial status'
The Old Miller is unintelligent
'What language is he speaking?'
'Where's Beijing?'
'For a moment I almost envied him his complete ignorance of the outside world.'
The Old Miller is primitive
'Bai Ping? Certainly, it's the big city in the north!'
'They're the mark of a revolutionary cadre.'
Chapter 5
Luo asks Four eyes for the books so that they'll leave
Four eyes thinks that Luo and the narrater has only brought them rubbish therefore rebels to bringing books
Four eyes wants Luo and the narrater to put away the papers, "burn it" or "put it away in your pocket"
The narrater lunges at Four Eyes and punches him at the jaw
Bloodstains were left on the narrator's "Mao-style jacket" after the fight
Chapter 6
Narrator meets four-eye's mother
Narrator uses Luo's identity
Four-eyes mother denies giving Four-eyes books
The Little Seamstress proposes the idea to steal the books from Four-eyes
The Narrator, uses Luo's identity, gets opinions of himself from Four-eyes and Four-eyes mother
Chapter 7
Narrator's dream
shows narrator's subconcious feelings
His love for the little seamstress
How insecure the narrator is
Narrator is very afraid of letting Luo down
Part 3
chapter 1
Luo and the main character start to read the western books which they stole from four
Luo and the narrator see the red beaked raven when tehy climb the mountain to see the seamstress
The Narrator has a dream that the little seamstress falls off the ridge and dies. He worries for her and ask Luo to ask her to stay away from the ridge
Four eyes has left the mountain without denouncing them and the headman is at a communist party conference
New node
Chapter 2
we learn
The Headman asks Luo to help him with a dental issue, regarding his rotten teeth, in exchange for one month off work
The tailor visits the village the boys live in. He also surprises everyone by declaring that he wants to stay at the boys' house.
The author and luo begin to tell a story written by Alexandre Dumas, called; 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.
On the third night of story telling, the boys were caught be the village headman, and was condemned for spreading 'reactionary trash'. However the headman then struck a deal which would leave the author alone in exchange for Luo's dental services.
Chapter 3
Luo and the Tailor were fixing the headmans bad tooth. The Tailor tried to sew the headman's teeth. The headman was very painful and fell off the bed. The first attempt failed.
The headman realized that he came a long difficult way to fix his bad tooth, so he tries again. Second attempt failed and he fell off the bed. The headman spat some blood out.
The headman was strapped onto the bed and was forced to sew the bad tooth by the tailor.
The narrator is working the treadle while the headman is suffering. He felt great because he hated the headman for taking him into custody.
Descriptions of the headman's teeth
The incisors and molars
Possibly dragged out descriptions
Chapter 4
Don't you dare... This is Matthew's
The old miller found two people having sex in a deep pool of green water, which was one or two kilometers away from his mill.
He had no intention to spy on them, but he had never seen such thing in his life. He was also ashamed that he would never taste this kind of watery delight. The old miller continued spying on them and he saw them swimming out of the pool. He concentrated on the girl, who was naked and unfamiliar.
He then saw the girl gathering a few leaves to make a loincloth and went on a rocky ledge to fit it on her naked body. She dived into the pool and the man was lolling against the rock, resting. The old miller also mentioned that man's private part was shrunken and sleeping...
The old miller suddenly recognized the man. The man was the interpreter who accompanied us (the reader) when we visited the old miller.
The old miller decided not to expose this incident. He also mentioned that if it was someone else who saw it, the man and the girl will be in big trouble.
Chapter 5
Dragged out descriptions (Emphasis)
Murky Pool
Symbolizing Outcome
Little Seamstress's enlightenment
due to western influences
appears more naive and daring than before
someone delete this
Chapter 6
Seamstress attempts to retrieve Luo's keyring
Shows how naive she is and how western influences seems to have made her optimistic (or foolish)
The Scar on her middle finger symbolizes that she will always be loyal to Luo "The scar will be with me for 50 years to come".
Chapter 7
Luo leaves on a one month absence, so the narrator is put in charge of "guarding" the Little Seamstress
The narrator helps the Little Seamstress with chores, gets beaten up for her and random mountain people see the banned literacy book
The narrator runs home and has a dream about the people who beat him up and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Chapter 8
What happened?
Seamstress finds herself in a dilemma
she is pregnant with Luo's child
a result of the pregnancy, the streamstress decides to have an abortion.
preacher dies from cancer
Last words are said in Latin
Family tries to make him show his support Chairman Mao so they wouldn't be ashamed of him fior being reactionary
the feelings of the narrator towards the little seamstress is revealed.
expresses his feelings when he implied that he wished to be the one who was making love to her on the gingko tree.
Abortion successful
exchange book by Balzac translated by Fu Lei for abortion
Last Chapter
Luo & Narrator burn the books after Seamstress leaves, due to the fact that it is because of this influence that the Seamstress departed for the city. A journey definitely ill fated and ending with disaster.
Seamstress can be see modernizing her image. makes herself a brasserie, buys tennis shoes too clean for country living
We learn that the seamstress is becoming more 'sophisticated', this is welcomed by the gang. Surpasses luo and narrator in civilities?
Luo & Narrator discover seamstress has left for the city
She believes her beauty is a treasure beoynd price
Western Influence
The Tailor
the father of the little seamstress
Has no known name in English Translated book -In the Chinese Novel his name is "Ma"
has a negative veiw on other characters
pg. 61
dresses up as a high ranking communist
shows he too is desperate but for a better cause
lies to get what he wants
thinks he is better than four eyes
Only help him for their own intrests
balzac makes their suffering bearable.
Mean more to him the the 'freedom' that four eyes is escaping to
represents a reward for his efforts, in his mind shows that he is 'better' then the others
mean more then books.
Don't abide by communist values.
Bestfriend of Luo
The Little Chinese Seamstress
Daughter of the tailor
In love with Luo....or is she?
In love with the seamstress
Four Eyes
Has Hidden Books
The Dentist
pg 61
Not liked by narrator
pg 61
'like a spy'
Luo's Father
The Doctor
Knows the narrator's father
Four Eye's Mother
The Village Headman
Quite unintelligent
The Old Miller