Madame Butterfly

Topics: Western world, Orient, Western culture Pages: 1 (330 words) Published: May 24, 2012
Madame Butterfly

n the play M. Butterfly, David Henry Hwang portrays examples of how the practice of Orientalism and race and gender stereotypes in western culture functioned in the relationship between Gallimard and Song and he subverts these stereotypes towards the end of the play. It is apparent that Hwang is showing us how Song played up to the exploited image of Oriental women as demure and submissive and used Gallimard’s exotic and imperialistic view of the East to trick Gallimard for Song’s own needs. The scene where Toulon is asking Gallimard for advice about what to tell the Americans is a perfect example Orientalism. Toulon comes to Gallimard because he is the one with an “Oriental” mistress and he thinks he would have better insight into the eastern way of thinking. This shows Orientalism is already at play. Toulon already assumes that Orientals think and react differently from themselves, the westerners. Gallimard further pushes the envelope by insisting to Toulon that the Orientals are “just n the play M. Butterfly, David Henry Hwang portrays examples of how the practice of Orientalism and race and gender stereotypes in western culture functioned in the relationship between Gallimard and Song and he subverts these stereotypes towards the end of the play. It is apparent that Hwang is showing us how Song played up to the exploited image of Oriental women as demure and submissive and used Gallimard’s exotic and imperialistic view of the East to trick Gallimard for Song’s own needs. The scene where Toulon is asking Gallimard for advice about what to tell the Americans is a perfect example Orientalism. Toulon comes to Gallimard because he is the one with an “Oriental” mistress and he thinks he would have better insight into the eastern way of thinking. This shows Orientalism is already at play. Toulon already assumes that Orientals think and react differently from themselves, the westerners. Gallimard further pushes the envelope by...
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