Anna and the King Movie Analysis

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Analysis of the movie „Anna and the King”

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Table of Contents

Introduction.....................................................................................2

Historical background and brief summary...................................2

Cultural clashes..............................................................................4

Absolute monarcy........................................................................5

Siamese customs and protocol...................................................5

Poligamy......................................................................................6

Hierarchy.....................................................................................6

Slavery.........................................................................................7

Concept of justice........................................................................8

Comparison with other movies and literary works......................9

Novels..........................................................................................9

Movies........................................................................................10

Conclusion.....................................................................................10

References......................................................................................12

Introduction

The story of Anna Leonowens is famous. The world has come to know about it through the diaries that she wrote during her stay in Siam. A British widowed teacher, Anna, is summoned to become the tutor to heir of the King of Siam. 

She is an independent women who dares to stand up to the king and talk againts the atrocities that are dealt upon the common people because of the rigid social structure and the slavery system in Siam. The conflict between a powerful man and a powerful woman has always been at the heart of great love stories, especially when the woman is the one challenging the man's authority and superiority. In Anna's case, significant cultural differences must be overcome as well, but she is ultimately to claims that she is equal to the King.

Anna and the King, the 1999 Hollywood movie version of the true story of Anna Leonowens' six years at the Court of Siam, is, like the movie and stage musical The King and I, based on a 1944 novel, Anna and the King of Siam. Jodie Foster stars as this version of Anna Leonowens.

The film is a story of East meets West and West meets East, and the prejudices that each person holds. Anna arrives in Siam believing the King is a despot and barbarian. The King, on the other hand, thinks she represents a country that has done nothing but invade countries and then act like the British way is the only way. By the end of the story they come to appreciate their differences, even though it means that the places they come from cannot necessarily be reconciled.

Historical background and brief story

Siam in the 19th century

The kingdom of Siam stands as one of the few non-western nations to have escaped domination by western powers in the nineteenth century. This was due in large part to the efforts of two extraordinary Siamese Kings, Mongkut and his son Chulalongkorn. Under their rule, Siam made great strides towards following Japan along the path of westernization and modernization. The modernization of Siam began with the fourth king of the Chakri dynasty, King Mongkut. Mongkut took the throne just as Great Britain and France were showing a growing interest in acquiring lands in Southeast Asia, and he was determined not to see his country go down the same route to subservience that Siam's long-time rivals Annam (Vietnam) and Burma had. Mongkut set out to slowly reform and modernize his country so that it would be better able to stand up to the...
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