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Mao's Last Dancer

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Emilee Mitchell
10:01 AM ET (US)
3. Li was trying his hardest on everything that his teachers were trying to help him learn and one of his teachers did end up coming to work on it with him and help him with everything that he needed to work on. His teacher taught him lessons so it would be easier for him to get to the place that he wanted to be in the end. His teacher told him something that made him work even harder than before. Li did end up working even harder for everything he wanted.

4. Dia gives Li a pen before he leaves. The reason that he wanted to do this is because he wanted him to get a better life elsewhere and he knew that he couldn't stay there if he wanted to get a good education. He wanted to give him a chance to have a better life and the pen symbolizes this.

7. The biggest obstacle in Li's way is just learning to live the way that the Americans live. He is very uncomfortable spending money when he was back at home he wouldn't make as much as he is spending. It's not something that he's used to so it's hard for him to get adjusted to.
Sidney Olson
02:19 PM ET (US)
1. Li has no choice but to endure the teachings of the academy because if he were to continue crying, the entire group of children would be sent to detention. If Li has any hope of making it in the academy he needs to be strong, not weak; which is something he will need to learn from a young age. However, Li's sobs quickly subsided due to the passing of gas by another student trying to lift his spirits, and save them all from detention
4. Dia is Li's father, a pheasant who was never given the opportunity to read or write. Dia gives Li a pen when he is about to leave for the academy. This symbolizes his father's hopes for his child to prosper and become more than he ever did.
5A. The frog in the well, the toad at the top, the world up here... This is significant to Li in the fact that he has been living in communist China his entire left and is now being send to America. In America he is enlightened about the fact that America is actually a much more desirable place to live. In fact, anywhere other than China and communist ways are probably going to be better for Li or anyone for that matter. Living in China, the people have no idea that there literally is an entire world out there that they will probably never see.
02:18 PM ET (US)
5. The frog in the well is like Li on his mountain. He is told to go far far away and to make a better life for himself by his mother, like the toad tells the frog. The frog/Li in leaving China gets to see how huge and beautiful the world is when he perseveres in ballet and "jumps" out of his well, the mountain.

6. Li is told by the official to not accept gifts, and to basically set an example for China. Li must be strong and work hard to set this example. If Li is weak in any way the officials believe it will reflect on China.

8. Perhaps because America has been good to Li and Ben wants America to be a positive experience to Li. When Ben was trying to decide on an understudy for the ballet in Houston, a lady said Li couldn't perform it because he was Chinese, then covered it up by saying it was a Spanish role. Ben counters her by saying Marlon Brando played a Chinese Villager.
Tyler Renken Actual Post
02:18 PM ET (US)
1. Li had to endure because he threatened everyone in the room. With that I believe he didn't want everyone to dislike hime so he stopped till Teacher Hung left. Then the other kids cheered him up be farting.
7. His biggest obstacle would be all of the bad temptations that are in America. There would be drugs of course but we haven't seen annoys that. There would also be Is obstacle of seeing the racist part of the United States.
8.He wanted to shield Li because he didn't want Li to not feel welcome in Texas and not see bad things. There has definitely been racial parts in the movie. Like, When the Chinese people said Americans all have big noses and look the same. Then there has also been when a lady said Li can't do Is Ballet concert sense he is Chinese.
Brianna Opitz
02:17 PM ET (US)
1. When the teacher demanded him to stop crying there was no way Li was going to stop. The boys in his dorm lifted his spirits by making him laugh. Not only did they lift his spirits emotional but then I think they did physically because then he had friends and he gained self confidence going to sit by the girl at lunch the next day.
4. Li's dad gave him a pen, but it wasn't just a pen. This pen was given to Dia from his father. The pen represented Li going to have a better life and learn to read and write.
7. I think the biggest obstacle Li faces was adjusting to American life style. Li gave the clothes back after the theater instructor gave them to Li. He said his dad only makes $50 per year and he just spent $500 in one day. Also another big struggle was hearing American people say they don't like the President. In China that is forbidden. Li told the man to be quiet and wasn't use to people saying that about their leader of their country. Finally, when he went on a date to China town. The girl said nobody had to know. Li said in China seeing American girl would be trouble.
Kara Nytroe
02:17 PM ET (US)
3. Li was trying his hardest to work more on his split jumps and one of the teachers came in and helped him. He hold Li a story to make training harder so the end result is easier. Li bought weights for his legs and trained himself to be stronger.

6. Don't think on your own or voice tour own opinion. Make sure to be like everyone else or you will get punished. Communist's also encage in forbidding any type of free thought.

7. I think just going to America. It is completely different there, there's so much things he could never do, and clothes he couldn't wear. They communist leaders are telling him not to trust anyone but there is so much chance around him.
Jordan Lueth
02:16 PM ET (US)
1) Li was faced to suck it up and quit crying because the trainers of the Academy wouldn't want to know that he was the one crying especially since he is already one of the weakest boys at the academy. So he sucked it up and then when he left the other boys got him in a better mood by farting and making him laugh. Crying is always a sign of weakness and Li showed that he could suck it up and made him stronger.
4) Dia gives Li a pen before he departs for Beijing. He did this because they had hopes for him to go to a better place to try and get a better education. They definitely want him to succeed in what every his journey takes him through in life and they are hoping the pen will help him.
7) I would say one of Li's biggest obstacle is learning some of the culture and language of the US. He doesn't understand a lot about the culture like how they dance. I think he was really surprised that at the party, none of them were doing ballet. He also had a hard time with some of the language and how to understand people.
Markinzie Hagen
02:16 PM ET (US)
1. When we see Li crying underneath his blanket his mother made him, we get kind of heart broken. I know for sure that my heart was broke a little bit, like can you imagine leaving your home to where you no nothing other than what you were taught and to go to a new land? That must of been crazy for him. His spirts were lifted by one of his bunkmates by him farting. Just doing boy things to make a friend laugh again.
3. The thing that changes his mind is when his teacher confides in him and tells him the story of the man who wanted to be an archer for the emperor but was too weak. His teacher then went on to tell him that he shouldn't give up. His teacher also handed him a VHS tape of something that was forbidden in China, a video of a US man doing ballet.
4. His father gave him a pen. It showed that his father is giving him something that his parents gave to him. His father wants the best for him even if it means he won't be with his family anymore.
Hunter Hanley
02:16 PM ET (US)
1. Li didn't have no choice to stop because he would get in trouble and his father said to make him proud so this would disappoint his father so he had to stop. Along with that he would be put in detention which would not be good. His spirits were lifted by one of the students farting.

3. He truly disliked his teacher but the other teacher he did like kinda inspired him. He told Li the a story and that hit him hard and he took his advice to be a great dancer. He worked hard and in little time you could see the difference.

4. His dad gives him a pen that we would have used to learn to read and write but he never did so he gave it to Li. you could tell it meant a lot to him. I think it represents that he is able to get what his father didn't he has been given a great opportunity so seize it.
Katelynn Groenewold
02:16 PM ET (US)
4.The symbol they gave him was a pen. They gave him this in hopes of him being able to learn hot to read and write. A was to show that he will have a better life because he always wanted to learn how to read and write.
7. I think that the biggest obstacle that he faces is forgetting all of his culture. In America he is faced with doing things and believing in things differently then the way when he was grown up. Some examples in the movie would be going out with a girl at night or taking bad about the president, or even how much money you spend on clothes.
8. I think that the reason he made up what the word "chink" means is because he wouldn't understand. I think that it was a good move on his part because he doesn't want anything causing a distortion. I also saw another part of racism when he was asked to fill the lead roll and they said he couldn't because he was Chinese, but that didn't stop them.
Jenna Wendell
02:16 PM ET (US)
2. That American people are strange. Also not to trust the women of America. He probably thought that it wasn't so bad there and that he had no idea what he was really walking into.

4. He gave him the pen that his father had given him. It was Li's grandfathers pen. It represents the hopes he has for him to learn to read and write. Also that the mother hopes that he creates a better life for himself.

7. In my opinion Li's biggest obstacle is to forget how things were in China. American culture is completely different and he has to try and adapt to the way things are in America. In the movie, when the actor said that he didn't like the president, he got scared.
Brooke Wolf
02:16 PM ET (US)
1. Li spirits were lifted when the other kids ran over to him to see what was wrong. He was still crying but wondering why they cared. When the boys came over they said that they didn't want to be there either. So they decided to make him laugh because that is all that they can do is be happy they have no other choice.
4. Dia gives Li a pen. The pen to his dad means everything because his dad gave it to him too as a lesson learn how to read and write. So when Li learns how to do those things he will be able to show his parents how Intelligent he really is. Li does everything to make his family proud, as he does for a lot of people.
8. Because Ben knew that he should only have Li be positive. With him being positive and liking where he is at he will want to do more, he won't be shy of being his self and showing what he can do. This is not the only racism I saw in the movie. When Li calls his parents, the parents say for him to be careful because the American people are strange. And when Ben was talking about having Li do the dance, one of the ladies said "but he is chines?" and everyone looked at her as if she didn't think before she spoke.
Alex Klein
02:15 PM ET (US)
1.At the time he didn't have a choice to be there. Th government said that he was going to be a dancer so thats what he had to do. He stopped crying after one of the other boys farted and they all started laughing.
2.Before he went to America, Li had a lot of false information. He had been told that China and other communist countries had the highest standards of living in the world. Once he got to America he was surprised at how nice it was. People could say whatever they wanted and the one guy spent $500 on him in one day.
4.He gives him a pen and says the his father had wished that he would learn to read and write. Now with Li going to Beijing his father hopes that we will learn to read and write. this just shows how much more hope there is for him to learn in a big city.
Colter Quinn
02:14 PM ET (US)
4. His pen, his fathers pen.. which was Dia...it was handed down through generations. Dia's dad gave him the pen in hopes that he would learn in the future how to read and write and that he would make the family proud. He gave the pen to Li and said the same thing, "make the family proud." so he is holding on to the pen and keeps it almost as a good luck tool.

7. Trusting Americans. I think that is going to be the biggest one by far. His family along with the Chinese guy he met in Houston both told him to not trust Americans and to always stay on guard. He is going to have to trust them at some point and go against how he was raised, as he has already kissed a girl and went on a date. That's the first step he should take.

8. I think he made that story up so that his confidence in dancing would be okay and the fact that he doesn't want Li to get the "rude" taste of us americans. He doesn't want us to ruin the time he has while he is there, it's more about protecting him than anything.
Lane Weber
02:14 PM ET (US)
Li was the one crying in that seen. I think that he had no choice but to cry, but I think he was crying because he was weak and that he missed his parents. The one boy farted and made him laugh.
I think that the biggest obstacle li had to face and overcome was being the weakest one. He was far behind everyone else. But that one teacher had lifted his spirits high enough to encourage him to get stronger which he did.
 Dia gave Li a pen. Dia's father had giving that to hm when he was a boy and wanted him to learn to read and write. And now Dia is giving the pen to Li and hopes that he will learn how to read and write.
Taylor Otheim
02:14 PM ET (US)
1. Li obviously had no choice but to endure because of the governments harshness and cruelty. Teacher Hung also stated that he will send them ALL to detention for it. Li is comforted by the fact that all of the other boys DON"T want to be there. One of them also farts to lighten the mood.

2. In the beginning, the teachers at the Academy of Art state that China has the highest standard of living in the world. It is obviously a lie. They also tell the students that the lowest standards of living come from the western "Capitalist" countries. I am guessing that this made Li think that USA was a very poor country.

7. So far, I think that the biggest obstacle that Li must face is staying away from accepting gifts and Liz. He obviously has some strong feelings for Liz. The Chinese official tells him that women will make him weak. I also think that when he defects, he must get out of his comfort zone for more freedom.
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