RAISE THE RED LANTERN SCENE ANALYSIS
Raise the Red Lantern directed by Zhang Yi Mou is a movie that is set in 1920’s china. It tells the tragic story of 19 year old University student Songlian who becomes the fourth mistress in the wealthy Chen family after her father’s death. The opening scene shows the process from Songlian’s marriage discussion with her mother to the moment she steps into the life of being the puppet of the Chen household. In the opening scene we are introduced to the protagonist; Songlian, the Master, the household maids and Songlian’s future maid; Yan’er. From the dialogue between Songlian and her mother at the very start of the scene, we are notified that she is unwillingly being sent away to get married with a wealthy man, as she makes constant pauses indicating her unwillingness and the Heavy flat despondent tone to show that she is unhappy. As the story proceeds, she walks to the household without taking the bridal carriage, still wearing her school girl costume. She was led through the house by the house keeper when she meets her future maid, whom she has some conflict with when Yan’er refuses to let her use the water to wash her arm and face, Songlian instantly stands up and tells yan’er to bring her bag furiously, attempting to establish her position in the household. The purpose of this scene is to show how dramatically Song lian’s polite school girl personality changes into those of a cranky, uneducated woman. It contributes to the development of the story as we can unravel more of why Yan’er dislikes Songlian so much and how Songlian’s personality continues to change further in the story.
This scene reveals the various sides of Songlian’s personality. Through the conversation between Songlian and her mother we know that she is a naturally accepting person so she accepts the marriage and doesn't complain, it is obvious from the when she says “it is not my choice to choose who I marry, so why don’t I just marry a wealthy man...
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