Theme- The Transformative Power of Literature.

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  • Theme- Transformative Power of Literature
    • The books that are read by the boys and LCS
      • Ursule Mirouet by Balzac
        • It's about a young women and questions how she will inherit family money
          • Themes- forces of good and evil, the power of money and there are more evil than good.
            • It teaches people about love+ life+ freedom.
            • Forces of good and evil- the communist and re-education
            • Like LCS, vulnerable  then she changes
        • Dai Sijie choose this novel because its about real life, reality with- love, passion and freedom.
          • this is a new experience for the boys- something they have never encountered before.
            • With this, it changes the boys perspective and it changes the LCS.
      • The count of Monte Cristo
        • Its about a man who is wrongfully imprisoned - acquires fortune. And sets to get revenge for the people who got him in prison.
          • However, his plan fails, and resulting with devastating consequences
            • Story about - selfishness, romance, loyalty
              • Themes- hope, justice, vengeance, mercy and forgiveness.
    • The whole idea of Re-education is similar to Ursule Mirouet
      • Because Balzac's series of novels is about the "real" idea about french lives
      • The novel has a happy ending, but LCS's departure could be happy but quite ambiguous
    • Quotes, Page 53
      • "falling headlong" tumbles into this magical world "impulsive, awakening.
      • "hidden from me"
      • "Limbo"- stuck in the middle of propaganda/city life and rural
      • "Revolutionary blather"- rubbish
    • What is Dai Sijie saying about power of lit?
      • Stronger than oppression
      • Positive and Negative consequnces
      • It can alter your actions and behaviour
      • Allows one to discover hidden ability
      • The key to learning
    • Effect on LCS.
      • She transformed from raw mountain girl to a sophisticated city girl
      • She gets effected the most- her change is most significant
        • When her clothing changed- "her immaculate tennis shoes"  , "unfamiliarly stylish and sensual"
      • She became more daring after being exposed to western stories. She asks " What if we steal the books?"
        • This shows that she is willing to steal because of  the power of  books.
      • The ending shows that she just deicides to leave
        • The sudden departure was not known to the boys until the tailor had informed them.
          • This suggests that the power of literature has transformed the LCS far more than the boys.
    • Effect on the boys
      • They go and steal the books.
      • They end up taking another book - Count of Monte Cristo


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