The relationship between a man and a woman has been a constant struggle of inferiority since the beginning of time. The role of a woman has evolved from being someone not allowed to have an opinion, to the owner of a multi-million dollar company. Over the years women have developed the passion and skills in order to fight for what they believe in. However, in some countries women are still placed at the bottom of the societal list, and their constant battle of how their culture looks and feels about women in modern day society is hard to win. David Henry Hwang describes the hardships of a woman in Chinese society in his drama M. Butterfly.
M. Butterfly's theme of sexuality, culture, and ethnicity has made it one of the most controversial plays of all time. The relationship that Gallimard and Song form causes a division of how a relationship between a man and a woman is viewed. Since Gallimard does not know that Song is actually a spy, it becomes increasingly harder for someone to understand how a husband could not know that his wife was a man after twenty years of marriage. It becomes apparent that Gallimard's love for Song is extremely strong and unconditional, and even after the trial proves that Song is a man Gallimard seems to still be somewhat in love with Song.
The Chinese culture believes that a woman who does not speak, think, act, or feel
is the perfect woman. In the United States views of women have begun to change as their positions in the world are steadily being fought for. However, when M. Butterfly was written, things had not begun to change for woman in communist China, and the respect they deserved was non existent. In China a woman's purpose is to please he...
... middle of paper ...
...ous, as Song was in M. Butterfly, is often far more appealing to the opposite sex than one who is open. The Chinese culture is far more strict than many other countries in the world, and even though some of their customs and beliefs might be beneficial, many of the ones concerning women are very old and rigorous. If the practice of these traditions continue Chinese women will never be able to get out from underneath the constant dissention of their gender, and women like Song Liling will never be able to be viewed with the respect and equality that they deserve.
Hwang, David H. Afterward. M. Butterfly. New York: New American Library, 1988.
Hwang, David H. M. Butterfly. Literature and the Writing Process. Leah Jewell. 6th ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk. Upper Saddle
River: Prentice, 2002. 706-750.
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