Essay Mao's Last Dancer

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Mao's Last Dancer

Staggeringly vast and a land of great diversity, China, the world's most populous and third largest nation is more like a continent in itself than a country. With that huge population and a long history,
China has made itself become a glorious and controversial country during one hundred years, especially from 1949 when China was finally at peace after decades of war, a China under China Communist Party
(CCP) and Mao Zedong. There was actually a lot of changing in society as well as in particular people’s lives. Li Cunxin, a dancer and the author of the book Mao’s last dancer - a huge bestseller in Australia and the thirty-fourth book of “Australia’s 100 favourite books” of the year, has his life changed
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From the moment he put his step in the USA which is “a country that he had been believed was poorer than China and extremely violent”[1], he began a journey “which takes him via over 20 years of hard work, defection to the West, and stardom in America to present day, when he lives in Melbourne, an Australian citizen and a successful stockbroker, with an Australian wife and three children”[2].

The story is begun with the description of Li parent’s wedding and their marriage which is described so beautiful, and traditional – an extremely old Chinese marriage and wedding. According to the author, he wants to give the readers a general idea about the life and the environment at that time, and to express the cruel life as well as the love his parents had to spend[3]. Then the book is divided into three parts: My Childhood – Beijing –The West.

My Childhood recounts a very distinguished reality and genuine daily life in China during the 1970s. It was an innocent childhood of the author when all the things he can enjoy were some meat, some toys or a wild little bird! It was the time when the country was being turned upside down by the horrors, stupidities and tyranny of the so called
Cultural Revolution. China which was described as a country that “you don’t have to lock your door at night”, and the people, especially the author were considered as a frog at the bottom of the well.

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