Satisfactory Essays
Western Imperialism and Submissive Oriental Stereotypes
Orientalism, a term coined by Professor Edward Said, is said to be the act of viewing people of Arabic or Asian descent through western lens of Western Imperialism. Orientalist stereotypes have long been perpetuated overtime through many mediums such as television, books, art, music, film, and every day social interactions. These mediums illustrate a distorted image of what and who Asians/Asian Americans really are. Imperialism is a mindset that is an unequal and territorial relationship, usually asserting one’s dominance over another. Western imperialism plays a large role in perpetuating oriental stereotype that the people, specifically women of the orient who are seen as submission, weak, and loyal under the power of the western, "The Orientals simply want to be associated with whoever shows the most strength and power.’’
This story of Madame Butterfly begins with two Americans, of which, one convinces the other to wed a young Japanese bride during his temporary deployment in Japan. In comes Cho-Cho-San, a 15 year old Japanese geisha, also known at Madame Butterfly who becomes married to B.F. Pinkerton who is part of the United States Navy. Pinkerton saw this relationship a temporary whereas Cho-Cho-San saw this as a real marriage as permanent where Pinkerton would take her to America, “I thing if we doing all those thing he as' us, he go'n' take us at those United States America, an' live in his castle. ” Cho-Cho-San was initially pleased with what Pinkerton provided for her, until she realized that she was kept away from her own relatives, but she believed that the marriage was so real that she renounced her faith, her family, and settles into a life with Pinkerton ...

... middle of paper ... and not an idealistic stereotype of the Western imperialism. Gallimard’s masculinity is also attacked when Helga and Rene, two women mock his penis and Gallimard also dismisses himself by admitting that no woman would ever want him. So, Hwang gives Gallimard many different facets that are contradictory to the Western stereotype; Hwang lacks confidence, leadership, looks, deceit, and power amongst other things. Hwang challenges the notion that Orientals want to be associated with the ones with the most power, by introducing Comrade Chin an oriental female character that is shown as bold and powerful which again are components of western imperialism as described earlier.
Even though Gallimard lacks all these masculine features, he is actually more powerful than described. One, he successfully uses the woman around him that are described to be more powerful than
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