Comparing the Quest in M. Butterfly and American Beauty

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The Quest in M. Butterfly and American Beauty

Happiness is defined as enjoying, showing, or characterized by pleasure; joyous; contented. Based on this definition we all search for happiness our entire lives. Two very different stories address this idea of the quest for happiness. M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang is the story of a man named Gallimard who is longing for his love "Butterfly" to return to him. John Deeney describes it as him, clinging to his idea of a "Perfect Woman" to the end by costuming himself into the victimized Butterfly though his final suicide. Although Gallimard’s infatuation with Song sometimes makes him cut a rather ridiculous figure, his dead seriousness at the end evokes a certain amount of pathos and
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Not only is he using Gallimard for the government, but also for the control he has over him. Song knows that Gallimard thinks he is the perfect woman. He allows him to believe this for more than twenty years during their affair. It was not until the end that Song told Gallimard the truth. Song lived most of her life as a lie, only because she thought it was making her happy.

On the other side of Song’s insecure image was his lover Gallimard. Gallimard first lived a happy life with his lover Song. He changed his whole life and even got a promotion because of his new attitude. Not praising himself he said, "It is because of you that I was promoted tonight. You have changed my life forever. My little Butterfly, there should be no more secrets: I love you" (Meyer 1233). Gallimard truly loved Song and after finding out that Song was really a man, he was crushed. He was ridiculed everywhere because people could not understand how he did not know he was dating another man. He replied, "This is the ultimate cruelty, isn’t it? That I can talk and talk and to anyone listening, it only air- too rich a diet to be swallowed by a mundane world. Why can’t anyone understand? That in China, I once loved, and was loved by, very simply, the Perfect Woman" (Meyer 1250). After all of his searching for his Butterfly and to find out that she was really a man crushed any happiness in his life. In the end, he said:

"Death with honor is better than
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