Raise The Red Lantern Essay

1111 words - 4 pages

The story of Raise the Red Lantern is about the life of a 19-year-old girl, Songlian who married a rich old man as his forth concubine. She was forced to marry him by her stepmother because her father had passed away. From then on, Songlian has to fight for her own power in the family, that is, to gain the chance to light up her lantern which means the master, Chen would stay with her for the night but not the other wives. However she is not happy with the rules of the house, the rivalries between wives as well as the loneliness she has to bear. She even can¡¦t get along with her maid, Yan¡¦er. With lots of incidents happened which finally drove her crazy.In the film, we can detect the low status of women in society as well as in the family. Women have to live in a closed, dictatorial house and are not allowed to work outside in the society like the master, Chen. They are either wives or concubines or servants. Though they may have little power, theirs are only a domestic ones, and their power is just to influence other women.In the family, they have to share a husband. They are just like men¡¦s toys. Every night Chen can choose who he wants to join for the night. But what about the concubines? Standing there like prostitutes waiting for the result of whose lantern would be light up. Their life-long career is to serve men. It is clear to us that women need to depend on men in that family. Their struggle for the chance to bear a male child is the only way for them to gain a little bit more power. The film also indicates the low status of women at that time and they seem to accept it. Songlian said a women fate is like this. It shows that women understand their status, that men are ruling the world and they are bound to be inferior.Though, women still have their own emotions. During Songlian ¡¥s first night, Meishan claimed that she was sick and demands Chen to come to her out of jealousy. After Chen leaves, Songlian looks in the mirror to raise the lantern near her face, stares at herself and cries. This shows she was looking at herself in the way men look at her, feeling like a slave or commodity of men. Chen has the right to come and go without caring a little for her feeling. Meishan¡¦s method also shows the ignorance of women. Actually she doesn¡¦t think of uniting with the women together, but to rival with women. Every woman in the house is checking each other, which ironically suits men¡¦s preference. Songlian has to struggle to be as cold and calculating as the other concubines in playing the ¡§game¡¨. In fact she and the other women are just like chess, the male is the master and the women have to follow the rule of the game. If not they would suffer. Like Meishan, she has an affair with doctor Gou and was put to death. There is no equality between men and women. Men can have lots of concubine but women should never think of having...

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