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Skilled Incompetence/betrayer of Culture - Why M. Butterfly Receives Criticism in Asian Community

Autor:   •  November 28, 2012  •  Essay  •  524 Words (3 Pages)  •  770 Views

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Skilled Incompetence/Betrayer of Culture

---Why M. Butterfly receives criticism in Asian Community

M. Butterfly is an epoch-making work which strongly voices against stereotypes towards the Oriental and their culture. The great play breaks the weak and feudal image of the Oriental while portraying a ridiculous spy story, or, love story. Yet pitifully, maybe there's some skilled incompetent content so that some Asian readers got annoyed rather than pleased.

Two types of content may turn out to be offensive in Asians' eyes. The first one is about people's image, that is, how men and women are portrayed in the text. It shows among the lines that the Butterfly, as a representative of perfect oriental or Asian women, is somewhat mean, too submissive and even foolish. For example, she makes subtle invitations through words, actions and the atmosphere like expressing "the fascination is mutual" (P.22), and showing some "poor but lovely" clumsiness when receives Gallimard with tea, etc. What's more, the sexual entertainment she gives is also too open for the Asians to read. In terms of men's image, Asian society is not less masculine than western society so men can't stand that they are depicted so distorted like the actor in woman's disguise. Maybe the author's purpose in writing this was to accumulate strength for a take-off at the bottom, but the unpleasant depictions "ultimately reinforce the stereotypes"(http://webcache.googleusercontent.com). Or, some claim that Hwang "affirms a nefarious complicity with Anglo-American desire".

The second type refers to the country's image and the party's image. The play mentioned not a little about China's revolution, displayed as "red and irrational", which may easily remind Chinese people

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