Chinese Wuxia Prompt 2 the Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Indeed, the trajectory of the narrative involves exacting revenge on those who prevented her marriage from taking place.

Although the Bride's marital aspirations might suggest that she holds a conservative sensibility, this is far from the case and she is ultimately more aggressive than Jen. While Jen also exhibits physical prowess, her sacrificial gesture at the film's conclusion signifies how she maintains a strong reverence for the Confucian moral code, assimilating her within the wuxia genre. Physically, the Bride resembles a dominatrix; she is taller than many of the characters and fights in a relentlessly savage manner (even going so far as to bite her adversary in one scene.) in contrast, Jen is more diminutive and her face and eyes are softer and less predatory. Where the Bride looks much more imposing than an average person, Jen has an average size that is not dissimilar from the other characters. Indeed, she is very much an everyman character thrust into a mythical world, assimilating her within the wuxia tradition. Further, although there are numerous violent scenes in Crouching Tiger, the soft musical score represents a distancing technique that separates one from the violence, allowing the viewer to watch the scenes with an intact awareness of the Confucian moral code. In contrast, in Kill Bill, the fight scenes are bloody and Tarantino magnifies the gruesome details through close-ups and slow motion. The projected brutality of Kill Bill assimilates the film within Hollywood genres like the slasher film and the Western more than with the wuxia genre.

Despite the extreme differences in personality between the two heroines, they are similar in that each is borne out of the serial culture -- a common trope of the wuxia tradition. Through enduring protracted battling scenes, Jen and the Bride are each female swashbucklers and the box office success of both films suggests that they hold the mass appeal characteristic of the serial protagonist. Ultimately, however, Crouching Tiger is a more conservative film than Kill Bill because Jen submits to the conventions of Confucian morality by sacrificing her life at the end of the film through jumping off the mountain. In contrast, Kill Bill concludes with a victorious, unrepentant image of the Bride watching cartoons with her estranged daughter. Although it could be argued that she ends the film unhappy because she is never able to reclaim her husband, she accomplishes the goals that are established early in the film. The portrayals of Jen and the Bride are therefore similar in that each is a determined warrior. However, the two characters differ in that Jen ultimately submits to the governing conventions of her culture while the Bride withholds…

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