Revolution, change, and even violence do not occur on their own. They need a spark; some kind of ignition switch that lights the action ablaze. This spark is an idea. An idea can transform a person or an entire civilization alike if understood well enough by the carrier. This is seen in both of the main characters, Dai and Luo. It is also reflected by the premise; a China undergoing a cultural revolution beginning with the thought that communism was much more valuable to the people than the nationalist regime. However, in the novel, this concept is as prominent as it can possibly be in the little seamstress. Although she is not necessarily the main character, her actions and transformation reflect the power of ideas more than any other
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Because they were so secretive, so shrouded in mystery, it only added to their allure and the potential value of the information and lessons to be learned inside. This allure was enough to persuade Dai and Luo to steal their friend’s suitcase of foreign books. The allure of these writings may not have been in spite of their being outlawed. In fact, it is probably more accurate to say that they were so sought after because of the governments position towards their existence. The ideas and new concepts presented by these western authors began to fill the heads of the two characters. And even though the reader was not intended to know this at the time, the ideas began to heavily influence their friend, the little seamstress.
The little seamstress began as an ordinary mountain girl. She knew how to read and write a little better than the average mountain girl from the things that her father had taught her, but she was certainly not the most sophisticated person in the world. Luo, noticing this, wanted to see her change. He wanted her to become more of an intellectual and more well-rounded. Because of this, he began to tell her stories about the movies he had seen with the help of the protagonist, Dai. Eventually, he told her the first story he received that had been written by Balzac. After this, he would continue to bring her more stories from their collection of foreign novels. Although his intentions was to change her in some way, he had no idea the extent that it