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What qualities helped the Boys Survive their Re-education

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What are the Qualities that Help the Boys Survive their Re-Education? 'Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress', written by Dai Sijie, is set in a remote village on Phoenix Mountain, in the dark days of the Cultural Revolution, when bourgeois, (i.e. capitalist) ideas were opposed. In the book, Luo and the narrator think they gave a 0.3% chance of being allowed home, therefore they feel understandably pessimistic about the life on Phoenix Mountain. Their acquaintance with the Seamstress brightens up both of their lives and their own qualities of character help them survive the grim experience of re-education. However, the quick wittedness and sense of humour of the boys, their ability to tell stories they had, and also their resourcefulness, help the boys to bear their re-education. ...read more.


As soon as Luo becomes 'alarmed' by the suspicious tone of the headman, he quickly breaks in and says 'Mozart is Thinking of Chairman Mao'. This suggests the speedy thinking of Luo, and because of this, the boys avoid trouble. Having received their first banned Western literature from Four Eyes, for another novel, Luo and the Narrator needed to obtain uplifting lyrics with an undertone of romantic realism' from the ignorant Old Miller. The boys wear like 'an official...of a Communist Party conference". Their quick wittedness is also seen, when they act like mandarin-speaking officials from Beijing. -tooth chapter 15- The power of storytelling helps them to endure their time on the mountain. ...read more.


For example, the narrator was able persuade a doctor and successfully arrange an abortion for the Seamstress. He showed his sheep skin jacket to the doctor who knew it was a translation by Fu Lei, Balzac's translator. The narrator then gave the doctor copies of Ursule Mirouet and Jean Christophe in exchange for successful 'medical intervention'. Obviously people were hungry for literature that plumbed the depths of human thought and emotions. Also, the boys wouldn't have obtained the 'old songs' without their tactful acting of Chinese officials. Chapter 9 - miller (dress, role play etc) The two main characters' traits ... It was the inner strengths, not just the physical strength. The Narrator and Luo would not have been able to survive their re-education without these qualities that they had. ...read more.

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