Paper Assignment: To Live & the Novels
For the next few class periods we will watch the
film To Live (Shanghai Film Studios,
by Zhang Yimou, a graduate of
Film Characters: Fugui = husband
Jiazhen = wife
Chunsheng = Fugui’s friend who likes to drive
Mr Niu = town cadre (leader)
Wan Erxi = the daughter’s husband
Themes: Confucian values regarding family
changing shape of the role of sons
changing value of daughters
sentiment toward outsiders (foreigners,
class labels (peasant, landlord, Capitalist Roader, Rightist, etc.)
the changing ceremonies for marriage
confusion of changing governments in
persecution of intellectuals
For your paper I would like you to choose a (one!) theme. You can use one of these or you may come up with something else that is evident in both books and the film.
Make a strong specific claim about this issue in your introduction. Then, using at least three detailed comparisons between the film and the two novels we have read (citing and documenting in MLA format), prove your claim. Be sure to fully introduce the authors and the director. Conclude with how this adds to our understanding of China/Chinese people (not just that it does, but how it does!). You do not need any information outside of the book and the texts (going to the internet for info to put in your paper will lose you points). Plagiarism will result in immediate failure of the paper and possibly of the course. Visit the Writing Lab if you need help.
Your paper must be typed, double spaced, in MLA format with a works cited page. No cover pages, please! (Very good MLA Guidelines can be found online at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_mla.html).