What does the alarm clock symbolize in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress?
The alarm clock represents the bourgeois norms, such as timing the workday with a clock rather than with sunrise and sunset, that the Cultural Revolution was intended to quash.
What does the seamstress father have carried from village to village and why?
He travels from village to village with his old sewing machine and is treated like a king wherever he goes, while the Little Seamstress stays at home with a newer sewing machine. Sewing and clothing construction are treated with a similar reverence to storytelling, as shown by the tailor’s kingly status.
What surprised the narrator when he and Luo went to see the Little Seamstress?
When the Little Seamstress tells Luo and the narrator that she doesn’t read or write much, it seems likely that she is lying and doesn’t write at all. Therefore, the pair are likely both surprised when the Little Seamstress’s letter to Luo arrives.
Why does Luo punch the narrator?
These chapters begin the theme of friendship. The narrator describes Luo as “the best friend I ever had.” Although Luo punched the narrator, it was because he was upset that the narrator saw his father be humiliated, rather than because of something the narrator did.
What does the violin symbolize in Little Chinese Seamstress?
The narrator’s violin is a symbol of the power of storytelling and also of the way out of reeducation.
What does Luo say about the seamstress at the end of the chapter?
“She’s not civilised, at least not enough for me!” – Luo’s initial reaction to the Seamstress foreshadows the dynamic of their relationship.
Can the Little Seamstress read?
The Little Seamstress, the daughter of a famous local tailor, is a rare beauty with no formal education who cannot read well, so Luo and the narrator read to her.
Does the narrator like the Little Seamstress?
The unnamed narrator of the novel is a thoughtful, intellectual 17-year-old who is sent to the countryside for re-education during China’s Cultural Revolution. He lives there with his best friend Luo. He falls in love with the Little Seamstress but never acts on it, and is transformed by the power of literature.
What does the village headman want Luo to fill his tooth with?
One evening the headman asks Luo, who surely saw his father perform dental work, to fill his aching tooth with tin. If he does, the headman will give him a month off. Luo says he can’t because he has no drill. A few days later the tailor comes to the village, without the Little Seamstress.