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Balzac - Show how the characters stay hopeful, even in the most difficult circumstances.

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Introduction

Show how the characters stay hopeful, even in the most difficult circumstances. In Dai Sijie's book, 'Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress', the two main characters are brought together to experience the hardships of re-education but even then they manage to stay 'hopeful'. Dai Sijie focuses on the survival and the power of human spirit and imagination to endure of Luo and the narrator, Ma. The boys stay 'hopeful' by finding solutions to their problems during the re-education. Luo feels physically tired and so turns back the hands of the clock to get some extra sleep so he can get through the day. The Little Chinese Seamstress tries and cures Luo of his disease even though she doesn't have the proper medical equipment. Four-Eyes on the other hand continues to try and impress the peasants by risking the chance of getting caught with all the banned books by leaving his door open just to display his trust in the peasants and by hiding away meat and pretending that he doesn't eat meat to please them. ...read more.

Middle

On the way to the Little Chinese Seamstress's house for the oral cinema in her town, another attack struck Luo and when they arrived at, Luo looked really sick so the Little Chinese Seamstress used a natural medicine on him and hoped that it worked. She didn't panic and act irrationally. The remedy that used was a natural paste made of the leaves of a plant called 'Broken-bowl-shards.' This shows that the Seamstress believes in nature and tries her luck wherever she can. She says 'In my opinion you can't believe in them totally, but you can't deny them either.' This just proves that whether or not the results are going to be as desired, it is definitely worth a shot. Four-Eyes is a representation of a character who would do anything to escape re-education and his continuous tries are what make him seem 'hopeful' that one day he will succeed. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that the characters' main way of staying 'hopeful' is by finding solutions to the problems and hardships of their life currently during the re-education at the Phoenix Mountain. What the two boys have taken from this experience definitely has been the ability to be independent and solve situations they are faced with and most importantly learnt that success can be achieved by staying 'hopeful'. Also the books and their passion for literature has indeed played a part in this as the books is what has kept them going for this long and they work so hard all day only knowing that later at night they have the book to go back to and relax. Their hope to keep them going through the day is the thought of knowing that this means they can go home to reading. Four-Eyes on the other hand has this obsessive pursuit of freedom and his hope is what is keeping that driving force in him going but in this battle, he has lost his temper and feels agitated as his results are not coming out positive. ...read more.

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