Essay on Broken Blossoms And Way Down East
Broken Blossoms and Way Down East
This paper analyzes two melodramas, Broken Blossoms and Way Down East. It first defines what a melodrama is, then for each film, gives a synopsis, and analyzes the film. In the analysis, reasons why each film is a melodrama is listed and explained. Finally, the two films are compared.
Melodrama, as defined by Rousseau as a “drama accompanied by music” (117). The motions and acting used in Melodramas are similar to classical theater. It works on an emotional level, by finding a common feeling, while being able to cross over all language barriers. It does so through the use of excess, exaggerations that are used to convey emotions with more emphasis, and make up for the lack of language based communication. Excess that is commonly found in melodramas include musical excess, stylistic excess, and narrative excess. Melodramas also rely on visual expression, gestures, costume, and decor to carry across emotions, and ideas, along with camera angles such as close-ups.
Synopsis. Broken Blossoms begins with the story of a Chinese man named Cheng Huen, who is a follower of the peace Buddha, on his journey to Europe. On this journey, he seeks to bring peace to Western Civilization. While there, he opens a shop selling trinkets. Unfortunately, he is unsuccessful in his mission to bring peace, and in the process, becomes addicted to opiates. The story then moves to the life of a poor, abused, young…