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Major Tool for Symbolism

It is very understandable if a person would warn those who have not got the chance watch the movie, not to watch this movie if one has an empty stomach. It is very hard to imagine a movie about a master chef without the presence of food. In the case “Eat Drink Man Woman”, food was ever present virtually from the opening scene up to the ending. Ang Lee would not risk his reputation as one of the most talented director of our time by incorporating food in the movie without an apparent reason. Ang Lee had sprinkled the whole movie with food as a symbolism to make tasteful insights about life tickle our aesthetic taste buds.

In the opening scene, Mr. Chu was preparing an intricate set of beautiful and seemingly sumptuous dishes. The preparation of the food was so meticulous and intricate that the audience might suspect that the food will be served to emperors. The food is meant to be served to her daughters in one of their occasional family gatherings. The preparation of the food becomes a symbolism for the lack of quality time in Mr. Chu’s family. In a very touching sense, the delicious food becomes Mr. Chu’s way of saying that he love his daughters so much and they only deserve the best.

He had also used food as a expression of love to his close friend Wen. The character if Jia-Chen had also used food as a replacement for words—as a symbol for her love for her father. It is important to note that Jia-Chen is arguably the daughter with the closest relationship with Mr. Chu. There is a scene wherein Jia-Chen had utilized the intricate preparation of a very simple meal. The irony just amplifies the intended meaning as Jia-Chen was preparing Chines crepes for her father. Mr. Chu’s and his daughters seem to have a problem communicating with one another.

This family’s problem with communication would be again shown by food as a symbol. It even appears that food had replaced the function of words. In a dinner scene, the daughters had thrown away the food that their father had prepared for them without providing a reason why. This is perhaps arguably one of the most shocking scenes in the movie. Mr. Chu’s youngest daughter, Jia-Ning, works at an American fast food chain. This could be an symbolism for the penetration of Western influences into China. This claim would be reinforced by the presence of a Caucasian man, complaining about his order, in Jia-Ning’s scene.

In the culminating stages of the movie, the ultimate tragedy of Mr. Chu would be the lost of his sense of taste. This is the symbolism to his fateful shift from having a positive to a negative outlook in life. 20 significant questions about the movie 1. What does the title suggest? Does it imply a theme for the movie? 2. Why did the movie started with a cooking scene? 4. An interesting Opening scene is very important to keep the audiences’ attention. Does food in the opening scene function as a “hook”? 5. A Mr. Chu is cooking alone in the kitchen.

Does this suggest something about his character? Or what about the issue of gender? 6. In a telephone conversation in the early scene, Mr. Chu had asked “if not today, when will we talk about it? ” Who is he talking to and what will they talk about? 7. What is the cause of uncle Wen’s death? 8. What is the job of Jia-Ning? Does her job tell us something about her personality? Does the inclusion of “Wendy’s” in the movie tell us something about culture? 9. Are can the themes of the movie considered universal? What are these universal themes? 10. Why did Mr. Chu lost his sense of taste?

Does this allude to something regarding his outlook in life? 11. Mr. Chu seems to be very close to Wen. What kind of relationship does Mr. Chu and Wen have? 12. Will Mrs. Liang and Mr. Chu end up with each other? Regardless of the end result, what will their union mean to Mr. Chu’s daughters? 13. There are some scenes set on a temple. What is the major characters’ religion? Is there a character with a different religion? 14. All of Mr. Chu’s are employed. What are their respective jobs? Who is the most and the least successful? 15. Jia-Chen exhibits an interest to cooking.

Does this interest have something to do with her childhood? 16. Jia-Chen’s apartment was under some kind of legal predicament. What is the apartment’s predicament? 17. What food did Jia-Chen prepare for her father? What does this symbolize? 18. Who was with Mr. Chu when he had received the news of Wen’s death? What does this tell of that person? 19. The daughters had met men as objects of love. Would they be successful in that field? 20. Who is the character that has the wittiest lines? Does humor play a role in the movie Eat Drink Man Woman? Work Cited Lee, Ang. Eat Drink Man Woman. 1994

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