The Painted Veil - Presentation Note

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Lift Not The Painted Veil Which Those Who Live

Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it--he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Charlie Townsend
Post: married British vice consul
= smart, sensible and he knows very well of what’s going on evidence – after walter walked away when he first found them in Kitty’s room, kitty was so panic but townsend knows that Dr. Fane will do nth. To cause any scandal - when he’s discussing about the dealing with strikes(walkouts)/ boycotts in Shanghai with businessmen in the Colony Club, he banned the suggestion of seeking help from Chiang Kai-Shek as he knew that he’s a nationalist that must stand on the side of Chinese, he will not help them suppressing the strike.

= mature and experienced woman-hunter , very dissolute person and he’s unfaithful to his wife Evidence –flirted kitty from the very first moment they’ve met when they’re watching the Chinese opera  telling kitty what happened to the actor in the opera which he thinks that it may be similar to Kitty (she weeps for the lively, vivacious girl she once wasthe lonely woman she has become; she weeps for the love she’ll never feel, for the love she’ll never give) to flirt Kitty  made Kitty believes that he understands her, admire her  Charlie Townsend found it so easy to get hold of her

+As described by Waddington: he had his little flirtations

+As described by Dorothy: the women who fell for her husband were so consistently second-rate  even his wife knows that her husband is a gallant/licentious/dissolute person that flirts many women

+having an affair with Kitty adultery, he only sees Kitty as his mistress to satisfy his physical needs (attachment: lever)
Dorothy is more important to him because “whatever happens, we must try to keep Dorothy out of it”  did not want to hurt Dorothy and nth in the world could induce him to divorce her

Women are always under the impression that men love them more that they really do.

Film language –

= selfish, vain and incapable of caring for anyone but himself Care for his reputation/ job/ post: “do you have any idea of the importance of my station here? ” – at that time, there’ll be many rumors that ruin the reputation of a man if anyone divorce his wife and marry another woman.

Therefore he cares more about his reputation, his position than what will happen on Kitty if he does not marry her, as Kitty is just someone means very little to him.

Film language -

=a person who made false promise
Evidence – sent kitty a ring as a gift – RING: symbolize love, faith and commitment. He proclaimed that he loves Kitty when he was having sex with Kitty, actually he does not love her, it’s just a way to flirt Kitty and make Kitty willing to continue the affair with him. - promised that he would help solve the problem when Kitty was forced to be divorced. After 5 years, at last, he still did nth, not even a letter to show his concern. “I should have written”

Film language -

Why Townsend treat Kitty as close as 5 years ago when he later met her in London?

=the only one that failed to change in the film
He never learn from any experience or errors that he has made; Besides, he does not think that he had done sth wrong does not feel sorry /guilty for breaking Kitty’s marriage He tried to date Kitty again in his later few weeks in London (to see if there’re any...
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