Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

As the only tailor on Phoenix of the Sky, the tailor is a revered figure. He travels to villages around the mountain to sew and leaves his daughter, the Little Seamstress, behind to work in their home shop. He's jovial and personable, and enjoys the narrator and Luo's stories. The Little Seamstress says that he behaves like a child and does whatever he wants.

The Tailor Quotes in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

The Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress quotes below are all either spoken by The Tailor or refer to The Tailor. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress published in 2002.
Part 3, Chapter 2 Quotes

It would evidently take more than a political regime, more than dire poverty to stop a woman from wanting to be well dressed: it was a desire as old as the world, as old as the desire for children.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Luo, The Tailor
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id

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The Tailor Character Timeline in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

The timeline below shows where the character The Tailor appears in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
...tied with a red ribbon, and has lovely sparkling eyes. Her father is the only tailor on the mountain. He travels from village to village with his old sewing machine and... (full context)
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Luo and the narrator run into the tailor's procession one day as they scramble along a mountain path. The tailor rides in a... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Several weeks later, the narrator and Luo travel to the tailor's village to visit the Little Seamstress and ask her to lengthen Luo's pants. Luo tells... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Several days later, the tailor arrives in the village. Though everyone offers to house the tailor, he insists on staying... (full context)
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
The narrator and Luo's house is transformed into a tailor's workshop, and the boys get to see up close how much the village women and... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Luo, the tailor, and the narrator eat dinner and the narrator offers to play his violin before they... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
The narrator asks the tailor and Luo to wash their feet and get in bed before beginning. Rather than tell... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
...narrator should've been a writer. The narrator falls asleep but is quickly woken by the tailor asking why he stopped. The narrator resumes the tale, but pauses every half hour or... (full context)
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
...nine nights to tell the entire story. The story begins to influence the clothes the tailor makes during the day, and the narrator explains that the five-pointed anchor motif was exceptionally... (full context)
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
On the third night, the village headman interrupts the narrator's storytelling. Though the tailor offers pleasantries to the headman, the headman ignores them and instructs the narrator to come... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
...at the back of the headman's mouth. Luo inserts a makeshift drill made from the tailor's sewing machine into the headman's mouth as the tailor works the treadle of the machine... (full context)
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
...strap him down to the bed. The narrator is dumbfounded, but the headman agrees. The tailor is tasked with keeping the headman's head still, while the narrator takes over working the... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 7
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
The tailor becomes used to the narrator's presence and also seems to enjoy the storytelling. Between chapters,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 9
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...the first time, which she'd altered into a smart-looking woman's jacket. She'd also asked the tailor to buy her a pair of white tennis shoes, which were completely impractical given the... (full context)
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
...in a field when they hear shouts. When they run back to the village, the tailor greets them, looking rumpled and distraught. (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
The tailor says that the Little Seamstress left the mountain that morning—she'd gotten the documents to do... (full context)