Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

why did the seamstress leave her village and move away? details would be nice , not an overview.

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The novel's final line is profound and nuanced. One could understand the sentiment as superficial: she wishes to exploit her beauty in the city. However, the significance is far greater. The Little Seamstress, as a rural victim of Mao's policies, had little opportunity to develop a self-worth and individual identity. Instead, the villagers are forced to work under a communal model, unable to question the dictums enforced from above. These dictums manifest into situations like her lack of options when she becomes pregnant. These strict expectations are horrific to consider, and help us understand the challenges of repression.

However, both through the boys and through Balzac, the Little Seamstress comes to develop a self-worth. Her admiration of her beauty is not vanity; it is a statement of pride in who and what she is. Rather than being defined the way that the village wants her to, she will define herself. She will not waste her "treasure" on people who refuse to properly appreciate it, but will attempt to declare her own identity to the city world, which might allow some semblance of individual liberty and expression. She is refusing to submit, thereby embodying the spirit of Jean-Christophe with more power than the narrator ever has.