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M. Butterfly. Paperback – January, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
At its heart, Hwang's original play reveals how the hubris and ignorance of the West and its preference for the comforting lies of Orientalism over a reality too harsh for the West to bear leads to downfall -- in Rene Gallimand's case, a humiliating political and personal one; in the West's case, a humiliating political and military loss in the Vietnam War. The parallels are obvious, but in Hwang's hands, so deftly handled that I would recommend the L.A. Theatre Works edition to everyone.
Hwang's M. BUTTERFLY skewers these concepts, attacking traditional Western views of Asian women, whom, perhaps even more than their sisters elsewhere, have the "weaker vessel", the delicate "lotus blossom" tattooed on their backsides. The character Gallimard is pulled into M. Butterfly's trap because he is enthralled with the modern western education and values she has, which he considers to be in conflict with her "Oriental" soul. It's exactly this piquant combination of an innocence and sexual prowess, which he considers culturally entrenched, that has him so in love with her. Asian girls in these types of stories are always slight, shy and beautiful, but no matter, they will eventually give in to the White Alpha Male, no matter WHAT he looks like. They are also loyal until the death, serving the White Alpha Male until their code of honor calls for suicide or some such nonsense, freeing White Alpha Male to marry a white woman, as the story wants us to believe he ought to have done in the first place.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd like to give it ten stars for Huang is my favorite Asian playwright.Published 24 days ago by Yiyuanfang Qiao
I really loved everything about this play. The absurdity of it coupled with the fact that it was based on real events. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Book came quickly and was in perfect condition. Great quick read. :)Published 3 months ago by Jordi D.
A fascinating, visceral take on the conflation of racism and sexism that is Orientalism. A must-read.Published 3 months ago by Kathryn
This is a play that I read with another adult female for a club project. We have also read a variety of reviews and scholarly articles. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Charlene