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Word Count: 798
In Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon tradition oppresses individuals and their relationships yet it also empowers Jen is oppressed by the confines of tradition and her traditional role as a female oppresses her relationship with Lo Li Mu Bai however is empowered by the guidance of tradition Ang Lee uses film techniques to present this dual affect Tradition cleaves Jen from her fighting talents Jens parents force her to marry but have no parental role Lee restricts their presence in the film and so isolates the tradition they carry Hence Lee conveys that tradition oppresses Jen because it is an unhuman law passed by unhuman parents Further Lee contrasts Jens behaviour as a fighter with her behaviour at her parents home a motif of tradition The homes silent rooms plain walls and the heavy servants clothing are symbols of Jens restricted future for Jen is no fighter at home--she writes calligraphy and drinks tea Lee captures such contrast to suggest that tradition oppresses Jen because it confines her But Jen breaks these confines in place of her family she adopts Jade Fox as her mother and Shu Lin as her sister in place of her home she escapes to the desert with Lo In the vast red and orange desert where there are no confines Jen fights her flying-style suggests Jen is defying the gravity of tradition In the love scene Lo removes Jens oppression when he removes her traditional clothing the exposed skin symbolises Jens freedom her true happiness She also lets her hair out and wears Los clothing symbolic of her discard of tradition Hence Lee uses the change in Jens character in her decision to reject tradition as a means of highlighting the extent of her oppression at home The feminine order of tradition becomes a barrier between Jen and Lo oppressing their relationship As Jen combs her hair she triggers a flashback to the desert where Lo flirts with her
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