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presents this plot in pre-World War II California, with a drifter named Frank Chambers as the lover, Cora Smith-Papadakis as the scheming wife, and Nick “Greek” Papadakis as the unsuspecting husband; and a controversial Chinese motion picture directed by Zhang Yimou and Yang Fengliang with the title Ju Dou (1990), having early 1900’s rural China as its setting with Tianqing as the lover and Ju Dou as the wife of a ruthless textile mill owner Jinshan, Tianqing’s adoptive uncle. The concept of a cheating wife getting rid of the husband and living with her lover for the rest of their lives is what makes the two stories similar, however major differences with the genre, the settings, and the context as well as the cultural background and character motivations are factors that separate the two stories from each other.
The settings in both stories show that the husband and wife work together to earn their living. Nick and Cora operate a roadside sandwich joint (Cain Chap. 1 p.3), and similarly Jinshan and Ju Dou work together in running a large textile mill in a rural village (Ju Dou). Another similarity with the two pairs is that both women got married to a man they do not love, and must work each day despite not being happy with their lives. What sets the two stories apart is that in the case of the western couple, Cora seems to have enough guts and confidence to assert herself and that her husband does not control her too freely, while in the eastern couple Ju Dou is entirely submissive to her husband Jinshan and always gets beatings from him nearly each night since she cannot give him a son. She is also gets verbal abuse each day due to this dilemma, even if in reality Jinshan was really the barren one due to having a good deal of wives unable to bear him any children (Ju Dou). Being unable to take any more of her husband’s beating, as well as slowly being attracted to her adopted nephew Tianqing who treats her well despite having awkward and silent ...Show more
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While plots are often recurring, how the story is delivered as well as the cultural context gives each story its unique flavor. This can be seen in comparing two stories with nearly-similar plot but…
Film analysis
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