Wooden Man's Bride Analysis

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Media and Social Development in China since 1949 Term Paper

Discuss and examine the female position in the film Wooden Man’s Bride [五魁] (a.k.a Checking the Body) based on the social context during the period

Lydia Wong Man Ching 201214327H


Acknowledged as one of the most renowned Fifth Generation filmmakers in China alongside Zhang Yi Mou and his other contemporaries, director Huang Jian Xin excels in giving a feminine spectacle in The Wooden Man’s Bride , which delves into the world of Confucian patriarchy in feudal China. The portrayal of women’s flight and aesthetic flairs in the film are highly reminiscent of Zhang’s acknowledged classics such as Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou , yet by placing the story amid the barren plains of northwestern China in which Confucian norms are less accentuated, Huang takes it to a higher level from a hi-jinks romance by providing women with an extrication from the highly repressive patriarchal framework. That being said, it is argued that the
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Through Young Mistress, Madame Liu and Sister Ma, director Huang also triumphs in giving a grim yet striking spectacle on women’s plight in pre-revolutionary China. We witness the effort of Wong Lan’s Young Mistress in staging minor rebellions against the Confucian cage, yet she remains dependent on Shih’s Kui to make a move on her behalf. Her high spirit is further shattered by her Mother in law and Sister Ma, who both appear to be accomplices to female subordination. It is perhaps such an internalization of patriarchal supremacy by women which results in their irreversible, doomed fates. The final showdown of Kui also suggests that the hardscrabble deserts may best serve as the breeding ground for violence, but also redemption and
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