Raise the Red Lantern

Film and Primary Document
Discussion Board

Use this Tackk to record answering primary document guiding questions and your analysis of the film as it plays.

Expectations: Connections between film and primary documents are particularly welcome. As the last time, there is a graded participation assignment for contributions to this discussion thread (30 points).

Use texts, analyze specific scenes, ask great questions, and respond directly to one another using @____.

To organize our primary document references use the following tags:

#banzhao #kangyouwei #chenduxiu #hezhen #hanyi

To organize our film references, use a tag for each of the characters names:

#songlian #1mistress #2mistress #3mistress #yaner #master


Guiding questions for Wednesday, 2/18, Reading Night #1

"The Women's Movement," p. 426-8

1. What were some of the specific cultural changes that Chinese feminist leaders sought in the early 1900's? Did you see any of the hated cultural values or customs on display in the film yet?

2. What were the most challenging obstacles for women's equality despite the rise of the Chinese women's movement?

Ban Zhao, "Lessons for a Woman"

Ban Zhao's work from nearly 1800 years before the early 20th century before still defined traditional Confucian women's roles.

2. How would a Communist analyze or explain her document?

3. As the film plays, document examples of women trying to meet or undermine Confucian expectations.

4. How does the document apply or not apply to women with servants?

Guiding Questions for Friday 2/20, Reading Night #2

Kang Youwei: "The Grand Commonality"

1. Why does Kang attack the traditional family? Using your understanding of communism, how would a Communist agree or disagree with Kang's diagnosis of the world's suffering?

Chen Duxiu: "The Way of Confucius and Modern Life"

1. As a communist, why does he attack Confucian values, particularly the treatment of women? Use a specific example. What would he attack in the film so far?

2. He ends by stating that "Confucius lived in a feudal age... the ethics [are] of the feudal age." How does that paragraph reflect Chen's "economic determinism"?

Guiding Questions for Monday 2/23, Reading Night #3

He Zhen: "What Women Should Know about Communism" and "Women's Revenge" Han Yi (Liu Shipei, her husband): "Destroy the Family"

1. "What Women Should Know...": What aspects of Communist ideology do you see He Zhen applying to the situation of women in China? Where does she adapt communist ideals to her particular situation?

2. Would she agree or disagree with Kang Youwei?

3. "Women's Revenge": How is "Confucianism... a murderous learning"? Give an example from the text. What/who would she attack in the film?

4. How does she personally attack Ban Zhao?

5. Would communists agree with Han Yi that China should start with a sexual revolution in order to destroy the family? Why does he believe so?

Comment Stream

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3 years ago

the servants reactions also shows the strong superstition that played out in Chinese culture

3 years ago


3 years ago

@livgwilliam He Zhen would also argue that the third mistress wouldn't have been murdered if not for the strict Confucian rules.

3 years ago

I'm glad she's finding peace in this through rebelling, not conforming further to avoid trouble

3 years ago

@WilliamLue clearly everyone, regardless of class, believes in the same superstitions. How would communism get around that?

3 years ago

@laurenzimmerman543 but would she have ever been in this position in a communist government in the first place?

3 years ago

I absolutely hate the second mistress.

3 years ago

shes a maid now?

3 years ago

the 5th mistress' coming is a demonstration of how this oppression is an ongoing cycle. one perished and another just came in and will suffer the same.

3 years ago

@JamesKokonuts I don't think so because their wouldn't be any boundaries causing inequality