The story starts off introducing the headman and two boys known as the “city youths”. I thought it was quite ironic how the two young boys with similar back rounds (not good back rounds during the time) were the ones to bring possessions outside, into the village. The first possession they mentioned was a violin.
The Mozart sonata that was and required to be known as “Mozart Is Thinking of Chairman Mao” immediately struck my mind as crazy. Why would the headman respect the man who put into act, re-education. Was he that blinded, did he not realize what Mao Ze Dong was doing to the country?
When the author describes him carrying buckets of shit on their backs and says “Dear Reader, I will spare you the details of each faltering step”, it did the exact opposite. After reading that line, I believe that of all scenes imagined, this was the most vivid without a doubt. I would like to question how changing the clock forward or backwards by an hour or two works. These peasants determined time by sunrise and sundown and must have been somewhat accurate if they did this their entire lives. Could they not feel or tell when time feels “wrong”? Also when the village headman walks to awake everyone, he was walking towards them before 9 o’clock because he already knew it was almost 9 o’clock. Hence he was wrong and woke up exactly an hour or two earlier, or the time was changed; was he never able to put the pieces together as he was “pacing to and fro outside”, probably on multiple occasions?
“It rained almost two days out of three”, which means they were used to the rain. Two out of three days raining and it seems like it barely rains during the rest of the story as most events occur in the sun. When the “city youths” return after watching a movie and able to depict what they saw, it must have been amazing for the audience to be amazed as well that the village headman would announce their trip next month. It is hard to copy a film, and they did it without any advanced technology, even for their time; this means pictures, music, and probably little or no props (as none was mentioned in the story). Also, they must have had little or no entertainment that they were so amused by this. They were so amused that they would sacrifice days of labor done by the “city youths”, just so that they can be entertained when they arrive back to the village.
When Luo was sick, I got this feeling that he was going to die. I don’t know if the author did that deliberately, or just me hoping for something really extraordinary or suspenseful. I thought this especially since the author mentioned that he was crying a little before he got sick. “Perhaps he knew of his illness and was fearful of death” I thought.
“To hell with you” was how Four-Eyes replied as he “growled” at the boys request for a book in the secret suitcase in exchange for doing labor. In the end, he gave up the book written by Balzac; however I found this to be extremely strange. There is only two reasons why he wouldn’t give up the books, or admit that he had books. He was either extremely fearful of the law, or didn’t trust them much. I personally think it’s the latter. It also struck and reminded me when the author puts in quotations, “He was our friend”. When he mentions four-eyes, I get a weird vibe from the author, as if he was being sarcastic. He didn’t mention the village headman, or the little seamstress when mentioning them. What the author just did usually isn’t the case, unless there is a specific reason for doing so. Again, I don’t trust four-eyes at all, he seems little too shady.