Raise the Red Lantern

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Raise the Red Lantern

By | May 2013
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Raise the Red Lantern

Question: What ideas are conveyed in the film Raise the Red Lantern?

Raise the Red Lantern is a movie directed by Zhang Yimou. The plot of this movie is that an educated young woman named Songlian marries a wealthy man as a concubine and the experiences she is having in this household. This movie provides a valuable insight into China’s culture and history. It shows the lives of the rich noble class in the 1920s and portrays the lives of the concubines in a Chinese household. This movie presents the ideas of a woman’s role and status in a Chinese household and the traditions, rules and customs of China. The women’s role and status in a Chinese household is what a woman is required to do. The purpose of her existence in a wealthy household is to serve the Master. Their lives are controlled by the Master and they have to do what the Master orders them to do. During the opening scene, the role of the women is explained by Songlian when she was talking to her mother about “a woman’s fate”. She said that a woman’s fate in a China is to serve their husband and that they should have no freedom. This scene was taken using a close up of her face and the tears when she said those words. No one was around her when she said it and her mother is not shown in the film. We cannot hear anything except for the sound of her voice and her mother did not reply when Songlian said this speech. This demonstrates her feelings and mood and shows that she feels isolated and sorrowful during this scene. She feels that she is completely alone and even though she said that being a concubine is a woman’s fate, she still is against this idea and does not wish to be in this position. The second example is the fact that Songlian struggles to be the Master’s favourite wife. By being the Master’s favourite wife she can have numerous privileges around the household and can hold power over the whole household. When 3rd wife has a foot massage the sound of the tool...