The Tragic Fate of Chinese Women in Yimou Zhang’s “Ju Dou”


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Essay #: 070353
Total text length is 8,227 characters (approximately 5.7 pages).

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The beginning:
The Tragic Fate of Chinese Women in Yimou Zhang’s "Ju Dou"
The feudal treatment of Chinese women was disgraceful and, as most unjust arrangements, ultimately doomed to be blown apart by the human heart.
Dou demonstrates what happens when one sex is owned by another; emotions cannot be equal or constant. This film helps unpack the stupidity of treating women as subhuman, and how that option leads to discord. As well, this treatment of women is a specific instance of a more general principle of patriarchic rule, where men with property are the real bosses, and men with less money or property can be little better off than the women of cruel landowners. In these circumstances, it is a society entirely run by money.
One scene in particular...
The end:
....., and the kind nephew is a betrayer. That is the multiple set of considerations that went into making this superb film about the plight of women in a society where women are not put down by bad people but instead by people who are true to their Chinese traditions.
Dou is a very intelligent and kind film that makes history talk to the present, which no doubt is an important part of China’s social development in the 21st century.
Edwards, Louise P.. Men and women in Qing China. Leiden: Brill, 1994.
and Dale Spender.
international encyclopedia of women. New York:
, 2000.
, Lisa Ann. Sharing the light. Albany: New York Press, 1998.
, Zhang.
Dou. Beijing: Miramax Films, 1990.