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Implications of the Masculiune Gaze in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

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In traditional Hollywood cinema, narrative film structures its gaze as masculine; films use women in order to provide a pleasurable visual experience for men, as well as symbolizing women as the desire for male. (483-94). The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) however, substitutes women with gold for male desire to fill in the narrative void.
In Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, she presents a number of very interesting facts regarding the ways that the sexual imagery of men and women respectively are used in the world of film. One such fact is that of the man as the looker and the female as the looked upon, she argues that the woman is always the object of reifying gaze, not the bearer if it. And “[t]he determining
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Women are not part of the scopic desiring structures of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; gold rushed in to fill the narrative void, by substituting women. The trio decided to go on a gold mining trip because they each individually have some degree of desire for gold. Dobbs, he has been poor and his fellow American would not spare him with some changes. He yearns for money, gold to seek power, and to live a better life. Curtin on the other hand, has a desire obtain life security by obtaining gold. And Howard, however, does not have a particular desire for gold, he just want to practice his wisdom and share his gold mining experience with the other two. In Mulvey’s article, she explores the notion of “pleasure in looking, [the] fascination with the human form”. She claims scopophilia, the love of looking, as one of the possible pleasures offers by the cinema (485). Traditional narrative film has a sense of scopophilic instinct, which is the pleasure in looking at another person as an erotic object. However, since The Treasure if the Sierra Madre is considered to be a non-traditional narrative film, it does not embrace the “another person,” woman, in the film. Instead, the male characters in Treasure look at the gold with “scopophilic instinct”. In the scene when the three are panning gold, they could not help themselves but look at it, carefully remove the mud and pick up the gold. As the trio
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