Darryl Soh 13.2

Statement of Intent

        My piece of work, which is a pastiche, is based upon the book Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, and will explore and follow onto the original ending to the book, in which the Little Seamstress informs Luo of her decision to leave the village and runs away, ignoring Ma, the narrator’s, pleas for her to stay in the village and not to leave for the city. The book ends with Luo telling Ma of the Little Seamstress’s last words to him before she ran away, which were that she had learnt a lot from Balzac, especially that a woman’s beauty is a treasure beyond any price, leaving many ways for that line to be interpreted. In my pastiche, the scene follows up from where the book left off, with the Little Seamstress running away, leaving Ma and Luo on the path, on their way back to the village, several misfortunes befall the main characters, which in the end, affect their lives forever. I chose to base my pastiche as an additional chapter after the ending, as I thought that the ending which Dai Sijie had given the readers was inconclusive and too abrupt, especially since it wasn’t a cliffhanger in which something exciting occurs. The only thing left for the reader to ponder upon was what the Little Seamstress had meant by a woman’s beauty is a treasure beyond any price.

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        Therefore, I chose to add my additional chapter to the ending of the book to give it a more suspenseful and dramatic ending. In my pastiche, I intend to explore the aspects of foreshadowing in the book, through the use of the enormous red beaked raven which meets Luo on the road to the Little Seamstress every time he goes there.

        Thirdly, I will also explore the narrative perspective which Ma has, in which he only has a character narrative, as what he knows is only limited to what he sees and hears from his surroundings, for ...

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