Pu Yi: Born, but Not Destined

Emperor of China.With a grand title like that, you would expect spectacular things from the man.But we cannot always assume the obvious.Such is the case of China's last emperor, Pu Yi.Throned at the tender age of 3, Pu Yi remained emperor for only a couple years, but what would happen in his lifetime would make him one of China's most historic figures.
Unlike epic heroes who acted on their instinctive gut, Pu Yi was born into a world that allowed him no initiative.Ironically, he was an emperor of nothing, for there was no power to go with this title.Throughout the film, we witness his efforts of trying to achieve what he perceives to be authority and supremacy, when really, he is just being exploited and manipulated for the use of others.However, he is not able to see through these people's intentions because everything that he knows, and everything that he is relies upon these people.
This constant manipulation that plays a reoccurring role in the film can also be tied into the theme of captivity versus freedom.Holding the title of Emperor in China meant living a life of what should be royalty.Ironically, it was anything but.One might argue that having eunuchs collecting ones feces and having a wet nurse "on call" might be the ultimate lifestyle, yet all it was all an elaborate show.Pu Yi was so sheltered that later on when he is in prison, it becomes apparent that he is unable to tie his shoes, let alone put tooth powder on his toothbrush by himself.Evidently, his younger years of captivity limited even the simplest abilities.In addition to this, Pu Yi's past life also influenced the interactions he had with others.This is witnessed numerous times throughout the movie when others have to remind him that he doesn't have the right to command their services.These scenes can't help to trigger a lingering thought.How is it that this puppet emperor ever became…

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