Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, how does the author show hope?

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“I hadn’t expected that a tiny glimmer of hope for the future could transform someone so utterly.”

The narrator, Page 77

When the narrator and Luo return to Four-Eyes with the elderly miller's songs, the narrator notes how Four-Eyes has been warped to selfishness. In its most basic sense, the passage suggests the narrator's sense of betrayal. Four-Eyes, a fellow in their hatred of the Cultural Revolution, now looks past them towards his possibility of individual freedom. However, the change in Four-Eyes also suggests another downside of repression. In a world where everyone is forced to look out for himself, even a "tiny glimmer of hope" has the potential to turn that person from his own community. It is a sad irony of totalitarian states that even a virtue like "hope" can get corrupted when an individual must live in fear rather than with freedom.