Print Сite this

Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”

Humanity has been striving for knowledge for centuries which became possible with the appearance of writing and books. Although even primary education was limited in many parts of the world in the past, people still sought education. Dai Sijie’s novel Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress tells the story of a beautiful Chinese girl, a tailor’s daughter, the Little Seamstress, who enjoyed stories but could not read well. She was lucky to meet two young intellectuals, the narrator and Luo, sent by the Chinese government to her village for re-education through labor. Luo and the narrator were bright representatives of people who received primary education and desired more knowledge. They were ready to steal books that they never had a chance to read. However, the main character, whose life changed dramatically after reading books and listening to stories, was the Little Seamstress. Dai Sijie’s novel shows that people have always been thirsty for education, and obtaining knowledge through reading books could change their mindset and life direction.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Reading books has always been considered the best approach to obtain knowledge that can become formative for one’s future path. In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, young people want to acquire knowledge despite the fear of punishment. For example, Four-Eye, who was also sent for re-education through hard work, hides the forbidden literature. The narrator and Luo are young intellectuals who were also thirsty for knowledge banned in China at that time, finished all work for Four-Eye to borrow a book by Honoré de Balzac. This novel’s idea is similar to Fahrenheit 451 film and book, supporting the notion that humanity’s desire for truth cannot be burned or erased. After obsessively reading all the reactionary literature Luo and the narrator want to transform the Little Seamstress by telling her stories from books. Although Luo did not believe that the girl is intelligent enough to understand this literature, he still helped her read Balzac’s novel. However, this book influenced her more than Luo, changing her perception of beauty and her entire life. The difference in approach to reading books has always played an essential role in impacting a person’s life.

The Internet transformed remarkably the approach to education and reading in the last several decades. Modern technologies simplified acquiring knowledge because they are “designed for the efficient and automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information” (Carr). Google made learning superficial, depriving young people of the opportunity to read deeply. In A Commencement Speech You Will Never Hear, the author wants young graduates to obtain knowledge not for grades but for experience: “you had best not defend errors but learn from them” (Neusner). Both Carr and Neusner highlight in their articles that humanity’s thirst for knowledge transformed into passive consumption of information. Overconsumption of information negatively affects people’s long-term memory, resulting in obtaining useless knowledge (Carr). I agree that reading printed books can make people more thoughtful because it requires time to read and analyze. For example, Faber in Fahrenheit 451 said that books’ ideas are the only precious thing: “The magic is only in what books say” (Bradbury 79). Moreover, as presented in Dai Sijie’s novel, critical reading impacts a person’s life only if one evaluates and uses obtained knowledge; otherwise, a reader becomes a passive consumer of text.

Overall, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an instructive story about the importance of reading books thoughtfully. This novel illustrates that books can significantly influence a reader and inspire one for positive transformation. Moreover, this story demonstrates that neither torcher nor re-education can suppress people’s thirst for knowledge. Despite the lack of access to printed books, people have always strived for reading and learning. Technologies opened access to virtually any information, but an abundance of it made learning meaningless. However, it does not mean that all data needs to be restricted again. This situation suggests that people should learn to evaluate both online articles and printed books critically and considerately.

Works Cited

Bradbury, R. Fahrenheit 451. Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” The Atlantic, 2008, Web.

Neusner, Jacob. “A Commencement Speech You Will Never Hear.” Washington Post, 1981, Web.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, July 18). Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/impact-of-reading-and-thirst-for-knowledge-in-balzac-and-the-little-chinese-seamstress/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, July 18). Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”. https://studycorgi.com/impact-of-reading-and-thirst-for-knowledge-in-balzac-and-the-little-chinese-seamstress/

Work Cited

"Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”." StudyCorgi, 18 July 2022, studycorgi.com/impact-of-reading-and-thirst-for-knowledge-in-balzac-and-the-little-chinese-seamstress/.

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”." July 18, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/impact-of-reading-and-thirst-for-knowledge-in-balzac-and-the-little-chinese-seamstress/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”." July 18, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/impact-of-reading-and-thirst-for-knowledge-in-balzac-and-the-little-chinese-seamstress/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2022. "Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”." July 18, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/impact-of-reading-and-thirst-for-knowledge-in-balzac-and-the-little-chinese-seamstress/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Impact of Reading and Thirst for Knowledge in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”'. 18 July.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.