December 2, 2012

Up The Yangtze--Stereotypes

I think this was a very interesting topic discussed in class. There are many different types of stereotypes presented in the film. But, I think it is important to discuss and realize that there may be a difference from stereotypes presented and stereotypes that are enhanced. Everyday, we see people live up to stereotypes that are put on them-not that this is necessarily a bad thing- and I think that this was done in the film a lot. But, there are also instances and people in the film who it seems that the director enhances what we would characterize them on based on their race, culture, or role.

I think that Cindy's family followed their stereotype. They were very adamant on her working and seemed to be quite critical of her. They seemed very strict, but still loving. They knew that she needed to work for the family and they made it very clear to her as well. Their meeting with the director of the ship and Cindy was quite amusing. The mother was extremely critical of Cindy and her work, but her father seemed very encouraging and complimented Cindy on her ability and craving to learn.

The role of the ship manager seemed to be enhanced/changed a little bit in my perspective. He held a very manager-like role in the points where he had to fire an employee and through his training of the employees. But, I think he was probably one of the nicest bosses I had ever seen be portrayed. Normally, the boss is the one yelling at everyone and making a spectacle out of those that are not completing their job correctly, but there were other members of the ship that took on that role.


lyzaakitten said...

I agree that Cindy's family followed the typical stereotype of the poor, simple minded, and uneducated family, although I found it funny that the young daughter was the bread winner of the family. Living as an American girl I have grown up learning to appreciate my indepence and luck to be born in American and not China where I could have been executed simply because of my gender. I believe that Cindy breaks the stereotype of the 'undesirable daughter' and instead becomes a here for her parents and siblings. Secondly, I agree that the ship manager was portrayed as a bit enhanced to the stereotype. He was not meeting the stereotype of the tyrannical boss, but instead was helpful and willing to work with his employees. He taught the new trainee's the procedures to working with vacationers and of course hit on some of the stereotypical behaviors of 'ignorant' Americans (old, pale, fat).

tag12 said...

I'm forced to question where these stereotypes we are trying to measure the characters up against come from. I have never been to China, but when I imagine China, I picture crowded streets, factories, rice, and Hello Kitty. This is stereotypical China in my head. I honestly had no concept of what life was like for some of the less fortunate Chinese people before viewing Up The Yangtze because that is not the China I have seen portrayed in popular American media. If asked if I think the family lived up to their stereotype, my immediate answer is yes, but how would I know what the stereotype for lower class China is? I have never been there to experience that life or done an extensive amount of research on it. And even if I were to visit China to get a glimpse into their lives, would they put on a show for me like they did for the American tourists? Is there any way around that?

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