This film entails a loving and devoted Chinese woman, LingyuRuan who has been outlined as the icon character throughout the drama. The woman does her best to maintain and provide for her young child through working at night as a prostitute, an act that is highly condemned by the Chinese culture. However, the woman ignores the condemns and abuses that she encountered from the society and instead concentrates in directing her activities according to her will with the effort of maintaining her child necessities. Her decision of practicing prostitution was contributed by her elevated levels of poverty that made the heroine opt adopt this outdated profession in order for her to survive and to educated her child (Yonggang, 2014). Moreover, the film outlines the role of this woman as a prostitute to depict that most women in this Chinese society at that era were being forced by circumstances to engage in prostitution in order to support themselves.
However, many other characters in the film portray similar and different traits from the traits of this iconic woman. For example, her boss is also a prostitute who uses and victimizes her for his own greed and desires. This man understands that sleeping with a prostitute is evil and qualifies the latter to be another prostitute of equal measure with other prostitutes. The man is aware of the rate that the prostitution degrades an individual`s dignity and the struggles that this woman goes through but cannot spare her. A man goes to the extent of forcefully intimidating this woman through grabbing her child away from her if only this woman would not give in to his demands (Meyer, 2005).
Most of the other women and men in this Chinese society consider themselves the holier than thou through most of the adverse treatments that they bestow to this prostitute woman and to her child. For example, the latter condemns the propagators of this old profession to a great extent. The parents of the kids who were schooling the same school with this prostitute woman`s child complained that a woman`s child was a bad influence on the other children due to his mother’s behaviours. In addition, the parents complained that the child would result to the degradation of the school`s morality due to the disgraceful character of his mother which resulted to the child being expelled from the school. Moreover, the mother is ridiculed and scorned by her neighbours, the community members while her child was receiving the same from the local children (Yonggang, 2014). The ridicule that this woman was experiencing went to the extent of that these parents were sending protesting letters to this woman in the name of their concern to their children.
In addition, the headmaster to that school acted differently from the mandates that he had been given in running the school. He was not supposed to expel the woman`s child just because of the pressures that he was receiving from the other parents. He was supposed to focus on providing education services to this child without minding on the avenues that his mother was using to pay the school fees. Before the expelling of the child, he could have opted to resign for the other parents to expel the child without him in office. Moreover, at one time, a woman`s pimp stole her money which made her get angry, confront him and finally kill him with a bottle. When this woman is prosecuted, the judge cannot consider the circumstances that contributed the woman from killing that man. Instead, the latter rules the case because the woman is a prostitute and a killer and this resulted from her being sentenced for twelve years in jail (Yonggang, 2014).
The film involves a soldier who had been sent to work poverty stricken societies where marriage between a young girl, Cuiqiao and a middle aged man was to take place. However, the setup of the film is during the revolution era and most ladies were not permitted by their cultures to be absorbed in the army. However, Cuiqiao ignores the rules of their tradition and is eager to join the army through her own means. Cuiqiao at first separately approaches the soldier and requested him to assist her in joining the army that the latter promises her to first inquire the same to his public relations officers who would give her the permission of joining the army. He promises to apply for her and he would give her the feedback immediately the public officers permit her request (Chen, 2014).
The Cuiqiao`s father wants to marry her off to a middle aged stranger in order to strengthen the kinship ties which are in accordance with the traditions of the peasant society. However, the soldier sees this tradition as one that humiliates the rights of women and tries his best to convince Cuiqiao`s father that women should be given the right to chose for their own husbands, as opposed to the prevailing tradition. However, the father strongly rejects the soldier’s argument through telling the latter that his suggestion is impossible to happen and against the culture of the peasant society. The soldier`s character is outlined as one that is liberating the domains of the peasant societies culture (Chen, 2014).
The play revolves around the two men who were being trained in the perking opera school and their relationship with an annoying prostitute who use to interfere with their lives. At first, the director of this Peking Opera school is brutal and severely punishes the students for minor offences. For instance, when Laizi fails to recite the song correctly, the master punishes him for this error and when Douzi recites the same song correctly, this master also punishes him with a reason that he wants the latter not to forget the song next time (Lilian, 2014).
The two men, Douzi and Shitao become great friends in the perk opera and also the stars of the Beijing opera. The two men`s friendship goes to the extent of being accused as homosexuals though their aspects of their relationship are not much emphasized. In addition, Shitou is further in love with Juaxian, who was a lady in the headstrong courtesan living at the upscale house of blossoms (Lilian, 2014). Juaxian is later discovered to be a prostitute in the blossom house and the extent of her prostitution was somewhat more elevated than that of Dieyi`s mother.
The role of love in these films is for the survival and the provision of basic needs of the kids as outlined by the film the goddess and the farewell to my concubine. However, in the film, the yellow river, the role of love is to elevate the kinship ties between families as outlined by the Cuiqiao`s father to the soldier (Chen, 2014). Moreover, most of the lovers in these films are rebellious while others are idealistic. For example, the prostitute woman in the first film and the third film practices prostitution with the idea of providing for their son. However, in the second film, the Cuiqiao is rebellious since she walks out of the marriage moments after being married to a middle-aged stranger.
From the three films, some love aspects are just while others are not. For example, from the first film, the goddess, the love the prostitute mother had to his child is justified. The woman sacrificed maximally for the survival and the provision of her child. She opted to practise prostitution and tolerated the ridicule and the condemnation that the society and the other women were bestowing on her. In addition, the mother to Cheng Dieyi is determined for her son to join the Peking Opera School. She goes to the extent of cutting his son the other finger in order for her to be accepted in the same school after the director had refused to admit the son due to the deformity of the son having a sixth finger. However, in the second film, yellow earth, the love aspect is not justified. The young lady, Cuiqiao, is forcefully engaged to a middle-aged stranger by her father as their culture dictates (Cui, 2003).
Moreover, there are some similarities between Cuiqiao in the second film and the prostitute woman in the first film. For example, both were rebellious to the rules that were laid by their societies. The prostitute woman knew her practice of prostitution was against the traditions of her society, but she proceeded with it in order to provide for her child. On the other hand, Cuiqiao knew women were not allowed to join the army but she was ready to run away from her father`s home in order to join the army. In addition, both women were youths below the age of twenty-four years. However, Cuiqiao was being forced to be married by her father as their society allowed (Chen, 2014).
Cui, S. (2003). Women through the lens: Gender and nation in a century of Chinese cinema. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai’i Pr.
Meyer, R. J. (2005). Ruan Ling-yu: The goddess of Shanghai. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Yonggang Wu, (2014). The Goddess. Retrieved on 16th may 2014. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195256/
Lilian Le. (2014). Farewellmy Concubine. Retrieved on 16th may 2014. http://watch32.com/movies-online/farewell-my-concubine-3859
Chen Kaige. (2014). Yellow Earth. Retrieved on 16th may 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seqfyzgyvrm