Patriarchy in fargo and raise

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Explore the relationship between women's roles and patriarchal society in Raise the Red Lantern and Fargo.

For many years from our history, women's rights have always been a contraversial topic. History has shown the world to be primarily a male-dominated society, where a woman's role is often dictated by a man. In the movies Raise the Red Lantern and Fargo, both movies dictate a society where the dominant sex is male. In Raise the Red Lantern , the women are concubines who (seemingly) have no say in what the master wants or does not want. In Fargo, the opposite seems true, as Frances McDormand plays the only woman in the movie who has intelligence: Officer Margie Gundersson. Yimou's film showcases a different kind of intelligence: a shrewd, cunning intelligence that is utilized in order to retain power over the master.

Raise the Red Lantern gives western society a everyday look at the fourth wife of a rich landowner, Songlian (Gong Li). Forced to marry against her will by her sickly mother, Songlian initially despises her new surroundings: a small, enclosed manor filled with traditional rules and ritual with which she is unfamiliar with. Although she has been to University, education means nothing here; her entire world becomes that of the small compound cut off from the rest of society. Yimou's portrayal of a patriarchal society is evident through his use of mise-en-scene comprimising of uniform, hard-angled lines, consisting of rectangles and squares. The use of framing in various scenes depicts an environment where escape is impossible. Also, the use of the camera is often restricted emphasizing the lack of freedom the women have. The camera stays in one postion during scenes, hardly ever tracking to follow an action or person. This filming style mirrors the...