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Obstacles in Mao’s Last Dancer Essay

In Mao’s Last Dancer we are introduced to the obstacles faced daily by a Chinese boy and his family, living in poverty. In Meltdown by Ben Elton, we are introduced to obstacles faced daily by Jimmy Corby. Obstacles we can all relate to in the modern world. This is why I think we should study Meltdown by Ben Elton as well as Mao’s Last Dancer as a core text in the Overcoming Obstacles unit. Meltdown is about City Trader Jimmy Corby. Jimmy was living the life being rich, pampered and spoilt.

That is until it all comes crashing down and the Global Financial Crisis hits. He discovers that anyone can handle success, it’s how you handle failure that really matters. We can all relate to these obstacles and the themes of the story. Some themes of the story are money, loss, family and success. All of these themes are somehow incorporated in our life. We all care about money and work for it, we all experience some form of loss during our lives, we all have family who we love and care about and we all hope to be successful in the future.

This makes it the perfect book for us to study as a core text. Another reason why we should study this book in the Overcoming Obstacles unit, is we join Jimmy on the journey of overcoming these obstacles. We see how he deals with loss, how he copes with family life, and how he handles failure. Elton, the author of the book, uses various techniques to convey how he overcomes all these obstacles. He uses humour to give us a funny insight on the daily problems. Humour also makes us, as the reader, enjoy the book even more.

Lastly, I believe we should study this book as it opens our eyes to real life problems that we all could face in a few years. The Global Financial Crisis is real for all of us. I think that Meltdown is highly appropriate for us to study as it is based around daily struggles faced every day. The main audience of the text are teenagers and young adults making it the perfect book for us. The purpose of the book is to make us realise that there are more important things in life than money. We have to enjoy what we have and not dwell on what we don’t. This is an important message for all of us in life.

In Mao’s Last Dancer we focus on the obstacles faced by a Chinese boy living in poverty who is given the chance to make life better for himself and his family. He faces struggles daily and is taught to overcome them. He deals with being alone, a long way from home and his own mental health. We don’t understand these obstacles as much as someone living in poverty would, seeing as we aren’t living in poverty. But then again, someone living in poverty wouldn’t understand the struggles we face daily. Also, by studying Meltdown by Ben Elton as well as Mao’s Last Dancer, We are given two inputs of struggles in the world.

We are taught the obstacles faced by someone living in poverty who doesn’t have much money and then is given the opportunity of a lifetime which could give him everything. But then we are also taught the obstacles faced by a man who has money, a house, a healthy family and enough food, but nearly loses it all. We are given two aspects on life. Meltdown is the perfect book for us to study as the obstacles featured in the book are all known to us, we can see and learn how we could possible overcome these obstacles and by studying it along with Mao’s Last Dancer we are given two inputs on life.


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