Essentially, the story is about a village leader who, after he discovered that a bag of grains was stolen from the village’ stockroom, initiated a ‘democratic’ method to finally find out who the thief was. The village men voted for the leader, which angered him and made him leave. The villagers shared sheer laughter but later on, they started to become worried; they want their old way of life and their leader back. The character of the leader has caught a lot of attention. For one, he has initiated democracy among the village men. Secondly, his position was considered so crucial that no one wanted to replace him.
Moreover, this story reflected the social condition in China that traces back to Mao Zedong’s reign in the 1950s. It discreetly presented the similarities of the leader and Mao: they are both possessive of power and imposing. Also, in both contexts, the villagers (or peasants) were unable to stand on their own. Thus, there was no “real” democracy that happened, only villagers who were not aware of the essence of “electing.” In the story, the passage that best reflects the title is this: “The election went forward very smoothly. Fourteen ballots were cast; no one gave up his right to vote. All smiles, the students handed the ballots over to the team head. He suddenly frowned” (Rui 322). This is the part when the village men, in the absence of enough evidence and due to their hatred, dethroned their leader.