Farewell My Concubine Inter Essay

1076 words - 4 pages

Farewell My Concubine is a strikingly beautiful tale about love and betrayal, of not only individuals but also a country and its culture. The story spans fifty years, as China's turbulent history is the counterpart and contributing factor to the relationships between two young opera stars and a prostitute who changes her life and gets herself involved in a complicated triangle of love and betrayal. The times of the Cultural Revolution in China puts pressure on the opera stars and of course forces them to abandon their one and only passion - acting.Douzi, one of the famous actors to-be, has a hard time adjusting to school life after his mother who couldn't afford to keep him anymore abandons him at the acting academy. The tough tyrant of the academy, Master Guan and the other boys ridicule Douzi because of his prostitute mother. He does, however, find comfort with a tough yet kind student, Shitou. This is the beginning of a special and very close relationship that both Douzi and Shitou will endure for the rest of their careers as actors and life. In the Beijing Opera, actors are trained in certain types of roles, in which they specialize for life. Douzi, with a natural feminine beauty, is trained for female roles, while Shitou is given masculine military parts. Douzi, however, has difficulty accepting his role as a woman, but eventually does so for he does not want to disappoint his fellow students. Douzi, a confused, pained, and jealous man who cannot distinguish between male or female, reality and dream. He is doomed to fail the one thing he wants: Duan's love. His movements, both on-and offstage, are careful and precise, much like a woman's. At times, in fact, it is hard to believe he is a man.Both boys go through many years of hardship and torturous beatings at the academy, but they so badly wanted to be great, well-known actors, they kept up and endured the pain until finally they became what they wanted. As famous stars known to all, they changed their real names to names they use because of their status. Douzi is now called Cheng Dieyi and Shitou is now called Duan Xiaolou. As professional, great actors, they were famous for their performance of "Farewell My Concubine." Sadly, the story is all too true in the actor's own, non-fictional lives.For Cheng (Douzi), their stage relationship crosses over to real life. He is in love with Duan (Shitou) and believes him to be his king. As in the opera, Cheng vows to stay loyal forever. His heart is broken, however, when Duan announces his engagement to a beautiful prostitute, Juxian. Crushed, Cheng announces that he will never sing with Duan again, then begins an illicit affair with Master Yuan, who becomes his supporter and lover. Deep down inside, both actors still want to act and have a strong relationship, but Cheng thought that Duan would never break away from always being with him. At first he couldn't handle it and was absolutely devastated. This definitely wasn't a good way for Juxian and...

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