Analysis Of David Hwang 's ' M. Butterfly ' Essay

1871 Words Apr 6th, 2015 8 Pages
In David Hwang 's play "M. Butterfly" the antagonist Lilling Song, who is a man disguised as a woman performs feminine traits while in disguise and masculine traits outside of it. Men and women in today 's society are expected to act in a certain way based on their gender. Masculinity and femininity are viewed as having opposite characterics besides the natural biological differences between genders. Holly Devor explains in her article "Gender Blending" "These two clusters of attributes are commonly seen as mirror images of one another, with masculinity usually characterized by dominance and aggression, and femininity with passivity and submission" (Devor 407). Song is a spy who is disguised as a woman in order to get information out of a French diplomat named Rene Gallimard. Liling Song illustrates the performativity of gender in her relationship with Gallimard by using the power of femininity to manipulate him. Throughout the play Song 's female persona is characterized as a "delicate, submissive flower". Woman are viewed as the "weaker sex" in society, this means that society expects women to be submissive. At the time society thought that women should be conservative and demure yet submissive to their husbands. She acts just like a westerner would expect a stereotypical Asian woman to act. While she has a western education and has been exposed to western culture Song retains the demure and shameful characteristics of an Asian woman. It is this persona and…

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