David Hwang’s M Butterfly is one of the literary works that best speaks of the Asian nation and culture. It showcases the actual traits of Asian people giving birth to a new perception of their capacity in opposed to the world’s stereotyping.
David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly is a fictional play that is based on historical account of a French diplomat that had an affair with a Chinese opera singer, who is after all a man. The play had its premiere at Eugene O’Neill Theatre on Broadway in the year 1988. The play garnered several Tony Awards. It is contextually rich and is considered as a spectacular, intriguing, and shocking tale that moves audiences not just from the East but also the population of the West. A close examination of this literary work creates an impact to the viewer’s perspective about gender, identity, cultural race, concepts of self and the issues of pervasive implications of stereotyping gender and race. The play is illuminating and shocking, portraying a different perspective to the audience about the grotesque clash of illusion with reality in the complex web of stereotypes.
The play of M. Butterfly is set in a present day prison in Paris, France. Points in the history are revealed through flashbacks, dreams and memories. It started with Monsieur Rene Gallimard’s narration about his life at the cell. He dreams of a woman Song Liling, dancing to a love duet. Gallimard continues his hallucination of the events in the opera imagining himself as Pinkerton, a masculine figure. He thought to himself that the events in his past are similar with what happened in the opera, with him as the sensitive one. Scenes of Gallimard’s childhood are shown revealing his deep insecurity with the girls. There is a hint of identity crises in Gallimard based on the flashback scenes in the play.
Liling Song, the opera singer, who plays the Madame Butterfly in the play, was