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Introduction to Modern China: the gender relationships of "Raise the Red Lantern" in the context of the Chinese politics, culture and society, associated with its particular historical period

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  1. The mise-en-scène and the setting of the story in the Chen household
  2. Rules and confucian fundaments in the Chen household
  3. The underlying principles of this patriarchal model of family
  4. Description of the consequences on the roles of women in society and the household

Raise the Red Lantern (Dà Hóng D?nglóng G?og?o Guà) was directed by Zhang Yimou in 1991, but it was adapted from a novel written in 1990 by Su Tong. The title of the novel was Wives and Concubines, which tells us probably more about the subject of Raise the Red Lantern. As a matter of fact Zhang Yimou's film depicts mainly the female characters. At the center of the film is Songlian who marries a rich man in order to please her stepmother. She becomes the fourth "Mistress? of her husband, and she discovers the home of the Chen family throughout the film. The film mainly explores the relationships between the Four Mistresses, and their constant struggle against each other to win the favour of their husband.

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