I. Introduction to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly II. The arguments of the author A. Reinterpretation B. The Western fantasy and racism C. Androgyny and homosexual in M. Butterfly III. Conclusion
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
Cho-Cho-San—a Japanese geisha
Pinkerton—an American naval officer
The Author Argues:
M. Butterfly is the reinterpretation from
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The Western fantasy and racism are exposed to ridicule and satire—M. Butterfly. The Western superiority is broken by the revelation of homosexuality.
M. Butterfly is inspirited by two source—Puccini’s
Madama Butterfly and the news which was published in The New York Times in 1986, that “ a former French diplomat” passes information to his Chinese lover, an opera singer, “whom he believed for twenty years to be a woman.” Cho-Cho-San (Japanese geisha girl) →Song Liling (a female impersonator in Peking Operas) Pinkerton (a womanizing American sailor) →Gallimard (a homosexual French diplomat)
Jar Against Each Other
Cho-Cho-San’s innocence and romanticism. Style → heartbreaking romanticism M. Butterfly:
Show human greed of mutual exploitation. Style → naked realism
The Western Racism
When Song Liling, after playing Cho-Cho-San, says to Rene
Gallimard, the French diplomat, in their first encounter:
Song: It’s one of your favorite fantasies, isn’t it? The submissive Oriental woman and the cruel white man. Song: Consider it this way: what would you say if a blonde homecoming queen fell in love with a short Japanese businessman? He treats her cruelly, then goes home for three years, …. Then, when she learns he has married, she kills herself. Now, I believe you would consider this girl to be a deranged idiot, correct? But because it’s an Oriental...