Li Baicheng was born an invalid and barely makes a living as a fortune teller. An outcast living on the periphery of society, Li is resilient and determined to take on what life offers. Not one to wallow in self-pity, Li works hard to make ends meet while taking care of his deaf and mentally disabled wife. In their company are poverty-stricken farmers, beggars and prostitutes, fellow outcasts also scorned by society. Li and others like him recall characters from Lu Xun's novels about survival in a harsh, cold world.