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Rashomon

Jaspreet Kaur 

Prof. Ding 

Writing II 

17 March 2023 

Rashomon 

  1. Give a brief outline of the plot (action) of the film.
    1. In the film Rashomon there is a couple who is attacked by a bandit. While this attack takes place the bandit takes the honor of the wife while her husband has been tied to a tree stump. There are four versions of this story, the bandit who raped the wife, the wife, the husband through a medium, and lastly the woodcutter. 
  2. What are the main symbols in the film, what do they represent
    1. The main symbols are the sun, the forest, the knife, and the baby. I think these are the symbols because the sun is blinding the wife while she is being assaulted symbolizes how everyone can become blind when there are certain things going on. The forest symbolizes isolation and quietness, and escape from the real world. The knife was seen to me as a power statement for the wife, the knife was the only thing she was in control of and it was almost like it resembled her dignity. And lastly, the baby represents purity and a new life without war and fear. 
  3. What are the main philosophical questions (ideas) being raised by the film? How are these themes still relevant today?
    1. The main question being asked to me is who is actually true? There were only four people at the scene and each of them have a different story, but some parts are aligning with each other. How was he so obsessed with the samurai’s wife and still assaulted her? Why did she want her husband dead and run off with the bandit?
    2. The theme that stuck out to me is a woman’s honor. The wife would have rather died than people find out that she’s “been with two men” is shocking, but not at the same time because it has been like that since the olden days. Even now immigrant parents do not want their daughters’ virtue to be ruined. 
  4. How is the structure of the film important to the telling of this story?
    1. The structure of the film is important to the telling of this story because it leads to all the different stories. You are able to see the similarities and differences in this story. You can decide for yourself who is telling the truth and who is not. 
  5. Whose story did you find most trustworthy and why?
    1. Well I’d like to start off by reiterating there are similarities in the four stories displayed to us. The bandit raping the wife, the samurai being tied up, and the samurai dying. I think the woodcutter’s story is the most trustworthy simply because he was the only one not trying to get involved with the “court”. He also really had nothing to lose which is why I think he would want the truth to be out there. 
  6. Consider the final scene when the Priest chooses to hand the baby over to the Woodsman. What is Kurosawa trying to say with this gesture?
    1. Although the Woodman did have some holes in his story, you could see he had faith in humankind when some did not. I think that is why the Priest handed over the baby to the Woodman and to show that he trusts him. 
  7. Rashomon is an adaptation of a short story written by Akutagawa, consider what elements are present in the film that enhance or diminish a story like this. Are there aspects to the story that might be better served on the page, why?
    1. In the first story where the bandit gets defensive about falling off the horse was unnecessary because it did not make a comeback at the end of his story at all. It would’ve been better if it was left on the pages. The wife and the bandit laughing like maniacs or when the wife cried hysterically added to the film because it showed how they were losing it. For the bandit I just immediately thought something was wrong with him when they introduced him. And then the woman I was surprised that she started laughing maniacally like the bandit, but when she was crying in hysterics I expected it because a womens’ virtue matters more than the woman herself. 

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