M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang

1701 Words7 Pages
M. Butterfly, a play written by a man named David Henry Hwang in 1988, is a story of a French diplomat named Rene Gallimard and a Chinese Opera star named Song Liling and the deception that occurs between them that destroys their relationship as well as Gallimard’s life. The play takes off when Gallimard meets Song Liling for the first time after her opera performance and grows extremely fond of her. Song, on the other hand, sees him as easy prey for a twisted spy operation attempting to seduce him into providing her info on the American troop movements in Vietnam and report back to what she calls the “ministry”. We quickly learn that Song is not who she appears to be as we watch Gallimard fall into her trap without hesitation because, in his eyes, she personifies his vision of the ideal eastern woman. M. Butterfly is full of deception, culture, and domination and submission in which Hwang is able to incorporate race and gender stereotypes that the west has adopted in its dealings with the eastern culture.
Rene Gallimard replays his life from a prison cell constantly trying to understand and questioning how he, a married diplomat working in the French embassy in China, fell in love with a communist spy that he thought was a woman. “In the opera, a Japanese geisha kills herself rather than live without her American husband. Smitten by the performance, Gallimard is determined to have his own butterfly, even if it means that he has to deceive himself” (Preston 7). With that,
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