Mao's Last Dancer

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“Mao’s Last Dancer” is a book about the life of Li Cunxin. Li Cunxin was born into poverty in China under the rule of Mao Ze dung. The book was first published in 2003 and since then has won several awards including the book of the year award. Throughout the novel the composer chronologically cites the life of Li Cunxin and how he felt and where he belonged at certain points in his life.

The purpose of the composer exploring the concept of belonging is to show that certain groups that people belong to differ over the course of their life. The aspects of belonging that the novel deals with are family, community and country. There is also a heavy political aspect in the novel as an individual’s sense of belonging can be influence by the indoctrination and suppression of that individual.

The composer has aimed this text for general reading by all people over the age of ten. However as this publication is the young reader’s edition, it is targeted at young readers. People who may wish to read the book may be able to attain it through mediums such as book stores and libraries etc. Although this publication of the novel is the young reader’s edition, there is a publication aimed at adults.

The composer uses simple words and simple poetic techniques such as metaphors and similes to make the book more effective. Metaphors are used to give the viewer a better understanding of how the composer felt at a certain time. For example, when Li Cunxin enjoyed his stay in America, he told himself that he was “the fish and China is the pond.” From this metaphor we can see how Li felt about China as a fish cannot exist anywhere else other than its pond so like the fish, Li thought he would not be able to live out of China. Another example of a metaphor is when Li refers to his commune as a “deep well.” This metaphor shows us how Li feels trapped in his commune and how it was unlikely for him to ever get out of the situation he was in....