Orientalism in M. Butterfly

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She is petite, submissive, and great in bed, the greatest combination for the perfect woman. Yellow fever is the psychological inclination towards Asian woman that has been expressed by a portion of the male population. This stereotype is a part of orientalism that continues to be discussed amongst today’s society; it is deemed odd or labeled as a fetish. M. Butterfly a Tony Award playwright written by David Henry Hwang consists of ideas related to orientalism through the layers developed in gender identity, global politics and art forms. The play begins in the present 1988 with Rene Gallimard sitting in a Paris prison. Gallimard declares himself as a celebrity, and relishes that his “fame has spread to Amsterdam,…show more content…
Butterfly does not reflect the complications between the U.S. and China, but certainly depicts secret intelligence being traded among the Chinese from an outlier source, French diplomat Rene Gallimard, who did not realize this deception from his “Perfect Woman”, Song Liling. Before the full context of M. Butterfly can be explored, it is important to establish the oriental stereotype that is expressed in the play.
“Oriental women have long been fetishized into a stereotype; they are depicted as submissive and passive, and are silenced by the double pressure from race and sex”, “Oriental woman, as Said (1979) states in Orientalism, is usually viewed ―with sexist blinders and serves as ―the creatures of a male power-fantasy” and “Asians as a whole are considered to be inferior and emasculated, easy targets for exploitations and dominance. Asian woman, always caged and subordinate both in the patriarchic society and in the Oriental rhetoric tradition, are natural subjects for the White‘s desire” (Weilin).
This stereotype is still regarded in todays’ society. According to Prof. Dr. Opfermann and Prof. Dr. Wippermann from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, their thesis Orientalism in Contemporary Asian American Literature - Mounting Madame Butterfly on the Asian American Needle implies that David Henry Hwang had two objectives in mind “… (1) Negating
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