M. Butterfly Summary & Analysis
A Deep Look at M. Butterfly
M. Butterfly Summary: Introduction
David Henry Hwang was born in 1957 in California. David wrote the M. Butterfly play, and he started a discussion on it because M. Butterfly represented the newest perspectives of the modern age. Also, M. Butterfly’s characters can be examined by various perspectives. In other words, all characters are representing different qualities, social status, political beliefs, and ethnic differences. The reader and audience understand the differences during the acts because play occurs in three-act, and every action has its own time, place, and country. Also, M. Butterfly can be examined by political belief’s stereotype because characters gain power on their political beliefs that affect their desires. This paper focuses on examining portrayed of sexuality, gender, and race effects on desire, and power connection.
The main character Gallimard Rene experiences his own nature according to his narrative. Also, every character is experiencing its own reality with including Gallimard’s narrative because play focuses on Gallimard’s narrative that in the beginning, he is in prison, and he is the storyteller in the play. Gallimard sexual portray shapes with his relationship with the other characters, and these characters are revealing his nature about his intentions, as according to Gallimard, “only a man knows how a woman is supposed to act,” (Hwang 1.6) or, “It’s ridiculously funny that I’ve wasted so much time on just a man,” (Hwang 2.6). He is both M butterfly, and Gallimard Rene in the play. However, the reader and audience cannot relate M. Butterfly, and Gillimard’s relationships with each other because M. Butterfly’s name continuously is passing the play as it represents another individual.
Gallimard’s power needs to reveal itself in the conversations he is having with other characters and himself (Hwang, 1.6). First, he is a well educated-traveler who is searching for love and peace. However, to do so, he experiences his nature in these relationships (Hwang 1.11). Moreover, his first wife, Helga, is refusing to get close to Gallimard when they first meet. During their relationship, he is trying to become superior to Helga, but deep down inside, he is feeling shame about his sexuality, as he once states “You have to do what I say! I’m conjuring you up in my mind,” (Hwang 1.11). First, he defines himself and others as celebrities in their environment, but he has been many places around the world, such as Vietnam and Paris. In these places, he meets his partners. Also, the characters that he meets in Vietnam represents a stereotype that these characters are not observing the possibility of homosexuality in their land. The women who lived in Asia suggest that artists are similar to prostitutes or homosexuals because they see Gallimard and Song’s personality adequate for social diversities. Also, they mention the definition of women’s gender fate that is similar to a prostitute.
Gallimard’s attitude about power and desire reveals itself in the relationship; he demands superiority on the occasions that requires sexual attraction (Hwang, 2.6). He has different requests for his partners. Also, he treats differently to his partners. For example, he treats Helga as she was a prostitute because his desire for sexual intention does not give him joy when he was with Helga. His attitude is judging both Helga and himself. On the other hand, his relationship with Song is different; he admires him/her, which helps Gallimard to understand his desires. Most of the time, he improves a feeling of perfection in Song.
M. Butterfly Summary: Conclusion
Gallimard’s desire closes his eyes to power, which gives him the illusion of sexuality and gender. He awakes after he accepts the reality of Song’s identity and gender. However, Gallimard has no problem with Song’s gender. He admires men that give him so much pain. He awakes after realizing Song’s identity over him. Also, Song is the reason for his stance in the prison because Song turns out to be a spy for the Chinese organization, which he/she has much power affects his desire to embrace and accept his gender and sexuality.
Hwang, D. H. Grünberg, S., & (1993). M Butterfly. Barcelona: Ediciones B.