Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
At Four-Eyes' house, Four-Eyes happily pores over the folk songs that Luo and the narrator collected. He begins to frown and he finally yells that the songs are just "smutty rhymes," when what he really wanted was "uplifting lyrics with an undertone of romantic realism." Four-Eyes says that the songs Luo and the narrator collected could put the miller in jail because of the songs' erotic nature, and the narrator thinks he hates Four-Eyes.
Four-Eyes confirms that the miller's songs are indeed dangerous (and would be censored or banned by government officials if they found out). Four-Eyes shows how out of touch he is with the peasants he's trying so hard to impress.
Themes
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
The narrator muses that Four-Eyes' glimpse of hope for the future has made him exceptionally arrogant. Four-Eyes tells Luo and the narrator to take the pages and burn them. Luo asks for the promised books, but Four-Eyes feigns ignorance. Suddenly, Four-Eyes grabs the transcribed songs and happily yells that he can just alter them to sound revolutionary.
Despite his poor opinion of the government and re-education, Four-Eyes shows he's willing to do what it takes to gain favor. He looks out only for himself, and continues to behave extremely selfishly.
Themes
Education, Re-Education, and the Cultural Revolution Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Angry, the narrator lunges at Four-Eyes and accidentally punches him in the jaw. The narrator is blind with rage as they scuffle for the papers. He comes to his senses again outside, and Luo remarks that they won't have anymore Balzac for now.
This highly emotional reaction shows how unjust the narrator believes censorship is. He sees this as a major betrayal by Four-Eyes of both himself and Luo, as well as a betrayal of the trust that the miller showed them by sharing the songs.
Themes
Storytelling, Censorship, and Power Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon