Pushing Hands Literary/Cultural Analysis

Objective: The student will describe the POV, plot, characters, theme, setting, genre and cultural lessons of Pushing Hands.

Master Chu tries to find his place in the foreign American world.

1) What is the point of view of the movie?

2) What is the plot of the movie?

1Pushing Hands.1992.Thumbnails

3) Describe the following characters using the Fox Character Analysis Pyramid which includes name/title, physical appearance, personality, character’s role, character’s problems/challenges, major accomplishments, cultural context, and world view.

0Pushing Hands

3.1) Describe Sihung Lung as Mr. Chu.

3.2) Describe Fanny de Luz as Linda.

4.0) What is the theme of the movie?

5.0) What is the setting of the movie?

5.1) Describe Chinatown, New York

5.2) What is Thai Town like?

5.3) What are some similarities between Chinatown and Thai Town?

Ethnic enclave versus Ethnoburb

5.4) How important is the setting?

6.0) What is the genre of the movie?

7.0) Does the movie have any cultural lessons?

7.1) Wikipedia describes the story as a “fish out of water” story. What is the meaning of the “fish out of water” idiom?

Culture Shock

Culture Shock W-Curve

Culture Shock: China  

Living in China: Culture Shock  

Reverse Culture Shock Cultural differences Japan vs America  

Culture Shock: A Project of The Asia Foundation in Thailand

7.2) What is destroy the Four Olds?

7.3) What is t’ai chi ch’uan?

7.4) Why was t’ai chi ch’uan banned in China?

7.5) How does Confucianism value of filial piety effect the communication between Mr. Chu and his daughter-in-law Martha?

7.6) How is t’ai chi ch’uan a communication metaphor?

8.0) What are some similarities between Pushing Hands and The Wedding Banquet? From Wikipedia:

“Pushing Hands (Chinese: 推 手; pinyin: tuī shǒu) is a film directed by Ang Lee. Released in 1992, it was his first feature film. Together with Ang Lee’s two following films, The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), it forms his “Father Knows Best” trilogy, each of which deals with conflicts between an older and more traditional generation and their children as they confront a world of change.”

1) Sihung Lung plays the father in both movies and the father is an outsider in both films.

2) Both films deal with traditional culture versus modern culture.

3) Both films deal with American culture versus Chinese Culture.

4) Both films deal with social alienation within the family.

5) Both films are set in New York City. Ang Lee attended Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.

6) Ang Lee pre-Hollywood films

8.1) Which film do you like more and why?

Pushing Hands Rank at IMDB

The Wedding Banquet Rank at IMDB

9.0) What are the literary conflicts of the movie?

Worksheet at Scribd:


Wikipedia Entry

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