Illusion in Madame Butterfly Essay

Illusion in Madame Butterfly Essay

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Illusion in M. Butterfly

In David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly we are introduced to Rene Gallimard who has unknowingly been sexually involved with another man for twenty years. The idea of mistaken gender within the play causes the reader to question how could one mistake his/her lover's gender for so long? In Rene Gallimard's search for self-identity he ignorantly chooses illusion over reality.

Hwang effectively uses the opera Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini as a framework to mold the main character, Rene Gallimard. Gallimard longs to be like the hero in Madame Butterfly, Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, who dominates and possesses a beautiful Asian woman. Within the drama Gallimard concedes that he is not very attractive and that he hasn't always been popular amongst the ladies. Gallimard states "We, who are not handsome, nor brave, nor powerful, yet somehow believe like Pinkerton, that we deserve a Butterfly"(747). Obviously Gallimard is not happy with himself or his life so he goes in search for his Butterfly or more importantly a new identity.

Gallimard thinks he ...

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