• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In your view, how have literary techniques been used to reveal memorable ideas in Li Cunxins Maos Last Dancer?

Extracts from this document...


Mao?s Last Dancer Thematic Essay In your view, how have literary techniques been used to reveal memorable ideas in Li Cunxin?s Mao?s Last Dancer? Li Cunxin?s effective use of literary techniques provides us with a valuable insight into the most memorable ideas of his life experiences. In the novel ?Mao?s Last Dancer?, Li uses characterisation to express the key themes of inner strength, determination and courage, change and journey, and traditions and beliefs. Inner strength, determination and courage have played a major role in Li?s life as they have enabled him to overcome the many physical and mental barriers that he encountered. This is portrayed through the descriptive language in ?I am, deep inside, happy about this god-given opportunity, but I am overwhelmed by sadness as well. I don?t want to leave my niang, my dia, my brothers and my friends. I can?t imagine how alone I will feel in Beijing?, displaying how even when things seem daunting through bravery and fortitude fears can be overcome. ...read more.


Li uses a simile when quoting his mother?s saying ?The sound of your cries was like a thousand knives cutting into my guilty heart? to remind him of her love and devotion, and the intense emotional pain that she endured while Li was on his journey. The powerful imagery provided by the quote ?I thought about that poor frog in the well many times. Like him we had no way out. I felt sad and frustrated? vividly suggests Li?s frustration. He knew that he must escape from his current environment and this required that he must be proactive and do something to bring about this change. Li?s insecurity and fear is laid bare when he when asked, ?Why are you, peasant boy, here in this magnificent city? and he responds with a simile thinking, ?I felt like a feather swept up in a whirlwind?. Li felt insignificant and afraid that he was not in control of his destiny as a result of a dramatic change in his surroundings. ...read more.


I?m eternally thankful to Chairman Mao for saving us? reflects the all-pervasive impact of propaganda. Mao and his ideas, or new beliefs, were indoctrinated into the minds of Chinese civilians, brutally enforced to manipulate and shape the communist state. Further symbolism emphasizes this theme when Li states, ?The good characters were always beautiful and handsome. The evil characters have big crooked noses and fat ugly noses?, this being an example of a false stereotype that society had adopted. Li reflects that ?Fair skin was considered beautiful in China? reinforcing to the reader the extreme traditional controls placed upon women, who should have bound feet and be seen but not heard. In conclusion, we can see that Li has brought the most memorable parts of his experiences to life by the effective use of literary techniques. His characters express the key themes of inner strength, determination and courage, change and journey, and traditions and beliefs in a simple but powerful way. Li was in all respects ?Mao?s Last Dancer?, a person who overcame tremendous obstacles to change his life and escape from ?the well?. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. My Last Duchess. The Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue written by Robert ...

    Browning takes the poem to great extents, and engulfs the reader in a sea of symbolism- all the way from ideologies on the renaissance period to women as commodities. One of the most significant symbols in the poem is the Renaissance art.

  2. Compare the literary techniques employed by Anna Akhmatova in her poetry and Isabel Allende ...

    Left the Land", Allende and Akhmatova challenge cultural assumptions of good and bad by showing that they both hold strong to their beliefs and are confident in what they say, with this further strengthened by their strong use of tone.

  1. Melville's "Benito Cereno" - Literary Concepts and Conflicts

    This leads to the conclusion that everyone tells his sown tory, and that there is only a subjective truth. Realizing this leads directly to the next important romantic concept used by Melville in "Benito Cereno": Individualism.

  2. In the prose extract, Feet September 1948, Seamus Deane utilizes various techniques and literary ...

    She would go to heaven for sure" (lines 48-50). This affects the reader as the full realization and recognition of Una's death not only bears down on the narrator but on the reader as well. The emphasis of this realization through the use of choppy sentences makes the narrator's feelings spill over onto the reader as we sympathize with his situation.

  1. How has Jane Harrison used Stolen as her vehicle for promoting her ideas about ...

    The fact that the beds were moved throughout the whole performance was a message to show how Aboriginal's of the Stolen Generation never had a place that feels like home. Finally, Harrison uses a filing cabinet as an authoritative message to illustrate how the documents controlling the children's lives were not available to the children.

  2. Discuss the Effects of Major Political and Social Movements on the Literary Works of ...

    Lawrence was perhaps the most prominent writer from the 20th century who analyzed woman psychology at a great depth. In ?Odour of Chrysanthemums? Lawrence showed the transformation of an ordinary housewife who is no more afraid to face the life even after she becomes a widow.

  1. How does Browning bring vividly to life the men and their relationships in Porphyrias ...

    The detached, emotionless account with the cold and distant metaphor creates a chilling effect, by which the character of the speaker is made more vivid. Also, Browning uses literary techniques to truly bring the character to life. One such example is the pathetic fallacy that used to not only set

  2. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    “Swollen from head to foot he was, and seawater gushed from his mouth and nostrils”(l.479,b.V) 118. “He made his way to a grove above the water on open ground, and crept under twin bushes.”(l.500,b.V) 119. “To settle a New World across the sea, Scherìa Island.”(l.11,b.VI)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work