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Dichotomy of the Body and Mind Essay


The dichotomy of the mind is a concept of dualism. The mind exists as a separate entity from the body, thus both can work separately. The mind and body have different effects on each other.

Thus, one tries to gain control over the other. The stronger one eventually overpowers the weaker one and gains control. Both the mind and body are a danger to each other. Despite this, the mind is considered to be positive, while the body is considered to be negative in nature.


The strength of the two is dependent on which one is stronger. In that case, one overpowers the other. Wong is characterized by dualism. This is the same case with Mr. Yee. Thus, both have two personalities that interact with each other at the same time.

The first mutually exclusive character within Wong is comprised of her spying personality. This is the personality that is able to interact with Mr. Yee’s personality. In Mong’s case, the mind is the privileged aspect of her. It takes precedence of her activities and determines what she does.

Her inferior character is her physical self. Thus, the mind is in control of her physical self. It is the mind that has determined the activities that she is doing. On the other hand, her body represents her physical aspect. It is the negative part that the mind has been able to overcome.

Despite the dangers, Wang has established herself as a spy. It takes many years for her to be trusted by Mr. Yee and be considered as his mistress. Thus, the mind ensured her safety as it controlled the body. The body will be a danger to Wong if it is allowed to gain control over her.

Thus, the mind has been able to sustain her in a dangerous position for a long time and maintained her secret identity.

Mr. Yee is controlled by his physical aspect during his interactions with Wong. It is the dangerous part because it can lead to his assassination. The assassination attempt involves riddance of the physical aspect of Mr. Yee.

It is seen as an effective method as the collaborator will no longer be able to conduct the wishes of his mind. Thus, Wong’s mind has been able to control both her physical aspect and Mr. Yee’s physical aspect.

Thus, the actor and spy have been able to be defined by dualism. There is a dichotomy of the mind because it is able to control both characters

There also exists a similarity at the end when both characters are able to switch their body and mind, a process that can be termed as refiguring. Both characters change the basic aspects of the body so that control is determined by either the body or the mind.

In the actor’s case, her body was able to take control of her mind. This led her to make rush decisions, thus becoming more exposed to dangerous circumstances. It is for this reason that led to the death of her comrades and loss of her life. Thus, the body is a danger to the mind.

It is the mind that ensures control of the body, thus the mind is able to survive within the body. In some cases, the body begins or tries to regain control, leading to dangers and harm to the body.

Women’s bodies are considered as their weakness. Their bodies will easily take over control of their minds, thus their negative part will have power. In Mr. Yee’s case, his mind was able to take precedence over his body later on.

This is where he was able to realize that there was an assassination plot against him. Grosz has been able to detail that when a comparison is done between the body and mind, it is the mind that will easily win.

The mind has control over nature, and the ability to reason makes it the primary between the mind and the body.


The spy and the actor have various differences that can be seen because the final occurrence defines whether the body or mind is stronger in both characters. Initially, it can be seen that Wong’s mind is stronger, but the body is able to become stronger.

In comparison, Mr. Yee’s body had precedence over the mind during the beginning of the film. It was later that refiguring occurred. Thereafter, Mr. Yee’s mind overcame his body and he was able to recognize the dangers surrounding it.

Wong’s faults begin when she goes into the domain of sexuality. Thus, the principles guiding her mind receded and she was faced with ambiguity. This realization does not happen in an instant; instead, it arises from a feedback loop occurring between perception and actions.

Personal body actions result from perception and the environmental attributes that occur encourage more actions. Constant sexual encounters within the film result in better understanding of the environment and how the characters are influenced.

Wong fails to remember more details of her initial mission due to the duration of her assignment. She is attracted to Mr. Yee and is tired of her initial task. Thus, she has grown tired of her deceptive ways as the body begins to overcome her mind.

Wong once lived in Shanghai where access to basic needs was difficult. Thereafter, she was able to enjoy a better lifestyle once she moved to Hong Kong. She is wealthy, a consequence of her interactions with Mr. Yee.

She has been in her fake position for many years and it has become a ritual to her. Thus, cognition becomes available through these interactions. Reasoning it is not achieved through thought, but through how the environment has influenced the person.

Wong does not think about her past in order to inform her current decisions. Thus, she is not able to play the original duties expected of her. Wong’s changed reasoning results in the application of a modified response. She adapts into her new environment, leading to her demise.

In the scenario above, the mind and body can be related to the human and environment. Thus, Wong is a human who takes over her environment. She is able to control it, but refiguring occurs after a period of time within the environment.

She was controlled by her environment and her decisions were determined by her environment. There are various factors that can result in reconfiguring. According to Grosz, the body is influenced by such factors. In the film, Wong was influenced by sexual desires.

The body acts like a system of meaning and it derives its importance from the environment. Thus, meaning is only achieved through the actions of the body.


In conclusion, the general aspects of lust and caution within the movie can be compared to the mind and the body. Caution results from the mind, while lust results from the body.

The body is considered as a negative aspect amongst the two and leads to dangers. In “Lust, Caution”, the spy’s body had greater control over her than the mind, leading to her execution.

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"Dichotomy of the Body and Mind." IvyPanda, 29 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/dichotomy-of-the-body-and-mind/.

1. IvyPanda. "Dichotomy of the Body and Mind." December 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dichotomy-of-the-body-and-mind/.


IvyPanda. "Dichotomy of the Body and Mind." December 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dichotomy-of-the-body-and-mind/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Dichotomy of the Body and Mind." December 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dichotomy-of-the-body-and-mind/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Dichotomy of the Body and Mind'. 29 December.

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