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Sacrifices for a Better Future (Coursework Sample)


The paper was a critical thinking one about Sacrifices for a Better Future.

Sacrifices for a Better Future
I aim to evaluate the theme of sacrifice evident in the movie To Live by Zhang Yimou. According to the film’s storyline, the main characters live in abject poverty following the loss of wealth in gambling and other political constraints. I intend to discuss the sacrificial concepts highlighted in the movie’s main characters in surviving as a family despite the dynamic changes from wealth to poverty (Choy 24). The emphasis of the evaluating is the main issue that has been used by the movie director in developing the different scenes and providing a comprehensive display of the ideas (Bustamante and Aleidine 72). The theme of sacrifice occurs in various issues. For example, when Fugui’s family decides to work and support each. The study develops an informed analysis of the sacrifices shown towards material wealth, political issues, and family relationships among other issues.
The movie’s description of Fugui as once a wealthy person, whose devotion to succeed propelled his decision to serve in the country’s forces, depicts the sacrifices embraced towards success. It is apparent that the character’s decision to become an entertainer emanated from his perception that he had exposed his family to an unworthy lifestyle. Therefore, the sacrifice to pursue fortune as a musician in the local community emanates from his love and affection to ensure sustainability of his family’s welfare. The initial phases could be argued as repercussions of actions that were done willingly since he through his gambling activities. On the contrary, the misfortunes revolved around his critical decisions to fend for material wealth in the various activities for the best of his family’s future. Apparently, the inclusion of Fugui at the level of normal Chinese citizens in the 1940s provided an informative basis of predicting the overwhelming sacrifices vulnerable to the Chinese men in the period. It is arguable that the poor sacrificed their property for the benefit of the government (74).
The argument of sacrifice in society is evident through Fugui and Chunsheng’s friendship, which compelled them to join the army and serving in different divisions for the benefit of their entire families and the country. The depiction of their former puppeteer occupation defines that the two characters were united to pursue meaningful and worthwhile activities in their lives. The illustrative scene of the film depicts that innocent people sacrificed their live course under the compulsory policies to join the army and contribute in different efforts of assistance during the war (Linder 291).
The idea of sacrifice amongst the people prevails despite the fact that they did not have any form of military training and equipment. For example, during the time that they were serving in the army, their children, parents and other relatives had no knowledge of where they were. At the same time, there were harsh conditions including severe cold that killed most of them. The perception is that the practice prevailed as one of the sacrifices that the Chinese citizens made towards contributing to a better China that exists today (Doll 3). In an extensive review, it is evident that the circumstances were coined towards making the peasant Chinese citizens like Fugui.
Despite the unfortunate position that Fugui and his wife Jiazhen face, the two parents sacrifice their ego and pursue other opportunities to earn a better lifestyle for their families. Such activities occur after they have lost everything to gambling, they are still forced to contribute towards the government through the little money they make from meager jobs (Choy 25). They did this with the understanding that they would face severe action from the government if they failed to contribute towards the government and its initiatives at the time.
Secondly, his sacrifice not to name Fugui’s treachery in failing to contribute his wealth to the government is evident on his execution. It is evident that Long’er, the casino owner who was the mastermind behind Fugui’s financial woes and eventual family troubles, was executed for failing to contribute towards the government. He remained adamant that he would not contribute towards what was referred to as the "People’s government”. Again, this is an indication of the nature in which the Chinese government during the 1940s was harsh towards the population while focusing on collecting revenues (Bustamante and Aleidine 76).
Similarly, Long’er’s sacrifices are evident through his decision to scorch his properties rather than losing it to the unjust policies and regulations imposed by the government. The depiction of this exploitation and the sacrifices that the weak in the Chinese society made towards the development of the country is even more evident in the contrast with those in the urban areas. When Fugui returns home, his friend Chunsheng works for the government. He leads a better life and is still viewed as one who exploits the poor like his long-term friend Fugui and his family. Evidently, this is an indication that a gap existed between those in the government and the poor in the society (Choy 32). The distribution of resources within this community imposed inequalities since the poor remained, while the government elite continued enriching themselves at the expense of the peasants.
More so, even after exploiting the poor in the society, the Chinese Communist party did not give direct benefits to the poor in return. When Fugui’s daughter Fenxia is about to give birth, they cannot find an experienced doctor to help with the process. All doctors have been sent away for hard labor (Doll 5). The sacrifice is attributed to the fact that they are viewed as over-educated and a threat towards the government and the policies it makes. As a process, Fugui’s daughter passes on after losing too much blood. This is an indication of the primitive mentality that the Chinese government had adopted towards developing any policies that ...
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