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Gifts In The Sent Down Girl

In Joan Chen's movie "The Sent Down Girl", there are two gifts, one is a kaleidoscope and the other is an apple, received by the central character: XiuXiu.

These two different gifts play totally opposite role in XiuXiu's life. The kaleidoscope represents intangible beauty and wont last long, and the apple is a sign of evil desire.

The kaleidoscope is a gift from XiuXiu's first lover: a boy and also the narrator. This gift appears three times in the movie and it is symbolized as beauty, on the other hand because of the kaleidoscope's feature, we can also know that the beautiful time won't last long. The first time, it comes out in the night before XiuXiu leaves her hometown. Same as the other lovers, the boy wants to give her the most beautiful thing in his mind, something can make the girl remember him, something can symbolize his love: a kaleidoscope which can show millions of beautiful patterns. The boy is totally falling love with XiuXiu. As long as she in his sights, he can feel the love coming up from the bottom of his heart. This love starts so beautiful, but at the moment XiuXiu climes up the truck, this pure innocent love reaches its end. The second time, XiuXiu is learning how to herding horses from Laojing, during the brake, she takes the kaleidoscope out from her bag and lies down on the beautiful lawn with wild flowers all around her. Meanwhile LaoJing is building a bathtub for her on the hillock. She looks at these colorful patterns in the kaleidoscope and asks Laojing to take a look at it. Laojing obviously has never seen a kaleidoscope before, and he grabs it up without thinking. XiuXiu is a bit angry: "Now you've ruined it, the pattern's gone." The pattern is so easy to be changed even a little

shaking can ruin it. So when we enjoy the gorgeous summer view of the prairie, and appreciate for the innocent father-like love from Laojing to Xiuxiu, we are also worry about the beauty will be replaced by something horrible. Xiuxiu's peaceful life will be ruined. The third time, Xiuxiu broke the kaleidoscope in front of Laojing's face after Laojing blamed her as a whore. Instead of beautiful patterns, there is fragment of glass falling all over the floor. Xiuxiu destroyed her only memory of her virginity right in front of Laojing. She wants to show that the simple lovely girl is dead, and her pure innocent love which hiding in the deep corner of her heart is also gone.

Apples are another gifts in this movie. Like the roll they play in the Garden of Eden, apples here are symbolized as the evil temptation. The first time, the peddler hands an apple to XiuXiu before he leaves the tent, XiuXiu is surprised She hasn't seen an apple since she left her hometown. Apples are very cheap and plentiful in our life, but it's very rare on the prairie. In our eyes, this red sweet apple is a temptation, but in XiuXiu's eyes, it is an important

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