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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2024, 7(1); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2024.070130.

The Nature of Patriarchy and a Female-Centred Film Narrative: Feminist Critical Analysis of Raise the Red Lantern (1991)


Yuan Zhuang1, Shuai Yang2

Corresponding Author:
Yuan Zhuang

1Hebei Oriental College, Langfang, Hebei, 065001, China

2North China Institute of Aerospace Engineering, Langfang, Hebei, 065000, China


The movie film "Raise the Red Lantern" is a Chinese film that has received widespread attention and strong influence abroad. The oppression of women by the patriarchal system reflected in the film has aroused heated discussions among many people. The movie film "Raise the Red Lantern" centers on Songlian's tragic experience and profoundly reflects the oppression of women by the patriarchal system. Although Songlian has education and a clear understanding of her own status, her speech in the film shows that all women are basically subject to secular perspectives and are caught in the contradiction of fighting for power. The master's preferences and authority are passed through rituals and Servants come to consolidate, highlighting men's control and oppression of women. The flute becomes a symbol of women's optimism and happiness, while the red lantern implies that women are oppressed and cannot have autonomy in desire and sex. Eventually, the hut became a symbol of a reality that women could not escape. Based on this, the paper focuses on text analysis, selects fragments and refers to relevant research, deeply interprets these symbols and story fragments, deeply analyzes the dilemma and oppression caused by the patriarchal system to women, and presents the close connection between men's judgment of women and the master's authority.


Raise the Red Lantern, Zhang Yimou, Feminist Film Study, Critical Analysis

Cite This Paper

Yuan Zhuang, Shuai Yang. The Nature of Patriarchy and a Female-Centred Film Narrative: Feminist Critical Analysis of Raise the Red Lantern (1991). Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2024), Vol. 7, Issue 1: 196-202. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2024.070130.


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