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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Essay

1072 words - 5 pages

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a martial arts chivalry film released in 2000. It was directed by Ang Lee, who also directed films such as “Broke Back Mountain and “Life of Pi.” The film focuses on the three main characters Li Mu Bai, Shu Lien and Jen. Li Mu Bai stays on a Taoist monastery, and is an expert in sword fighting; famous for his Kung Fu. Unlike Li Mu Bai, Shu Lien is a Confucianist who runs a security company and has deceased fiancé. Another important character, Jen, is from a wealthy family and is taught by Jade Fox, who disguises as a nanny, how to fight. Jen is egoistic and contradicts the rules of both Confucianism and Taoism. Lo, also known as the “Dark Cloud” is a bandit who falls in love with Jen. The film mainly tackled on the importance of Confucianism and Taoism in one’s life and how these two are alike to each other when they are put together. In the film, we will see how they influence the character’s lives having Confucianism and Taoism beliefs performed together. We all know that these two philosophies are different from each other. Confucianism emphasizes morality, familial piety and respect for authorities to create peace and harmony among people. On the other hand, Taoism focuses on the harmony of yin and yang, detachment from worldly things, oneness with the nature and to go with the flow.
Confucianism emphasizes on social values, government and traditional Chinese society. These were vividly seen in the movie when Jen’s father arranges a marriage for Jen despite her being against it. However, she couldn’t do anything because it was part of Confucianism values that a child should obey their parents to maintain the order in society. Also, in Confucianism women do not have a say in society and were often regarded to be followers of males to create a family. Furthermore, in Confucianism, stealing demoralizes the order of the society more than other crimes except murder. When the sword is missing, the government makes it a duty to return the sword. It is believed that if they return it, everything will be back to order. In addition, another important belief in Confucianism is human-ness or developing one’s true person which signifies that one find her personal meaning and value and respects those of others. Jen lacks this value at the beginning of the movie when she _______ (example). Nevertheless, she awakes from her bad acts when Li Mu Bai was accidentally hit by a venomous needle thrown by her master, Jade Fox. She suddenly lost the desire to have the sword but instead wants to save Li Mu Bai. In this way, Jen finally shows human-ness and has developed her true person. Like what Sir Te said, “A sword by itself rules nothing. It only comes alive in skilled hands.” Jen and Jade Fox desired the sword but they can’t use it as skillful as Li Mu Bai because the only person with expertise in sword fighting can use it commendably and with grace.
The big philosophical and ethical system found in the movie is Taoism...

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