The entire novel is set during the time of China's infamous Cultural Revolution
, during which many city youths were sent to the country side to be re-educated. This setting allows us to see the contrast between the educated urban boys versus the village men
. In this way, we are shown how important education is in the traditional sense of reading and writing. In addition, the Little Seamstress
is introduced as a villager who displays interest in knowledge, but is still uneducated in many ways.