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Duty vs. Personal Desire - Crouching Tiger, Mists of Avalon

Uploaded by Gotskillz on Jun 19, 2004

The Battle: Duty or Personal Desire

In Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, and in Lee’s film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a battle between duty and personal desire takes place. Each character is unique, in the sense that they each come from different sects in society, and their social status defines what they are expected to do. They must either acquiesce to their personal desires and disregard their duties, or vice versa, and endure the consequences. It is apparent that Bradley and Lee favor a moderate adherence to both personal desire and duty through the thoughts, actions, and comments of various characters

Shun Lie, a female protagonist in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is a legendary hero, adept in the Wudan martial arts. In the opening scenes, Shun Lie is delivering the Green Destiny, an ancient sword owned by her close friend, Li Mu Bai, to the governor of the state. Clearly, Shun Lie and Li Mu Bai share an overwhelming inner affection and admiration for one another. However, they do not openly express their endless love, because it would dishonor Shun Lie’s former paramour, who is also Li Mu Bai’s brother. Shun Lie’s former paramour passed away shortly before the two were to be married. This grave event brings together, Shun Lie, the widow, and Li Mu Bai, the brother, to mourn the woeful death. Soon, the two fall madly in love with each other, but must do what is expected of them, and hide their adoration. Shun Lie undergoes a psychological challenge throughout the film. She is continually in conflict with her duty and personal desire, and is noticeably melancholic during many scenes. Her emotions run wild in a conversation with Gen. Shun Lie explains her predicament, and expressively explains that although she is a free woman to choose whom she wills, and follow her personal desire, she must follow her duty to her former lover. Abruptly after the Green Destiny’s deliverance, it is stolen by Gen, the daughter of the governor. In an attempt to retrieve the sword, Li Mu Bai is killed by Jade Fox in combat. Prior to his death, Li Mu Bai confesses his love for Shun Lie, and also admits the mistake he made for not telling her before this fateful day. Li Mu Bai dies immediately after this momentous instance. Shun Lie is overwhelmed with sorrow, and she too realizes her incredible mistake in not...

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Uploaded by:   Gotskillz

Date:   06/19/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,408 words)

Views:   7692

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