Lust, Caution Short Story

759 Words4 Pages
Rowena Loh Prof. Nana Greenwald English 462S Literature & Film of Diverse Cultures 4 April 2014 The Art and Politics of Lust, Caution Lust, Caution is a short story set in Shanghai during World War II and was written by one of the most influential writers of China, Eileen Chang Ai-Ling. The story was written in 1950 but only published in 1979 together with two of her other works, after nearly 30 years of rewriting and reworking by the prolific writer. The story of Lust, Caution begins in China during the Japanese occupation in World War II, where a group of patriotic teenagers plot to assassinate a Japanese collaborator, Mr. Yee. They decide to use a honey trap and send the pretty Wang Chia-Chi to befriend Mrs. Yee under the alias Mrs. Mak. Wang Chia-Chi successfully seduces Mr. Yee but she finally falls in love with him. On the day of the assassination, she warns him of impending doom and he escapes from Wang Chia-Chi’s group of friends. In the end, they were all executed by orders of Mr. Yee. The short story by Eileen Chang fully reflected the turmoil in China during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s. For decades, Japan has been trying to dominate China with incidents like the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894 where the two powers fought each other for the control of Korea. When Japan attacked Shanghai in what was known as the Battle of Shanghai in 28 January 1932, student bodies fought back and that resulted in the second Sino-Japanese war in history. Understandably the people of 1940s had extreme hatred for the Japanese due to the violence that Japanese military exercised on the country and its citizens. Strained political relationships in the city led to countless assassinations of Chinese government officials who worked ... ... middle of paper ... ...softness and harshness played a huge role in crafting Ang Lee’s ability to develop great characters with many layers of emotions without them being complicated by the overall plot of the story. From a short story that had only 10,000 words, Ang Lee successfully created a world that was 157 minutes and had characters interact seamlessly sometimes without even having to utter a word. In conclusion, Lust, Caution is a story that an be considered to be adapted from multiple sources including the writer and director’s life experience. The short story was a seed that grew from the soil of Eileen Chang’s life and became a flower, and Ang Lee was the maestro that painted the flower on a canvas to show the world how beautiful this flower was. Works Cited "War in China: War in China." TIME, Web. 31 March 2014. Chang, Eileen. Lust, Caution. Penguin Classics, 2007. Print.
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