Selected Excerpts and Quotations from "M. Butterfly"

Literature Related

Just anything interesting to read about, I suppose, though I don't agree on some.  The others, however, attack stereotypes of Asian decent and also sexist beliefs of a woman's submissiveness (regardless of race) which the play orchestrates.

~"The sad truth is that all men want a beautiful woman, and the uglier the man, the greater the want."  - Rene Gallimard


Song:  Con oner muore / chi non puo serbar / vita con onere

Gallimared:  (simulataneously) Death with honor / is better than life / Life with dishonor.


Song:  "It's one of your favorite fantasies, isn't it?  The submissive Oriental woman and the cruel white man.

Gallimard:  Well, I didn't quite mean...

Song:  Consider it this way:  what would you say if a blond homecoming queen fell in love with a short Japanese business man?  He treats her cruelly, then goes home for three years, during which time she prays to his picture and turns down marriage from a young Kennedy.  Then, when she learns he has remarried, she kills herself.  Now, I believe you would consider this girl to be a deranged idiot, correct?  But because it's an Oriental who kills herself for a Westerner - ah! - you find it beautiful.


~"Art for the masses is a shitty excuse to keep artists poor."  - Chin Song

~"We are all prisoners of our time and place."  - Rene Gallimard

~"I guess.  But, like, it just hangs there.  This little...flap of flesh.  And there's so much from that we make about it.  Like, I think the reason we fight wars is because we wear clothes.  Because no one knows — between the men, I mean — who has the bigger...weenie.  So, if I'm a guy with a small one, I'm going to build a really big building or take over a really big piece of land or write a really long book so the other men don't know, right?  But, see, it never really works, that's the problem.  I mean, you conquer the country, or whatever, but you're still wearing clothes, so there's no way to prove absolutely whose is bigger or smaller.  And that's what we call a civilized society.   The whole world runs by a bunch of men with pricks the size of pins."  - Renee

~"Now I see — we are always most revolted by the things hidden within us."  - Chin Song

~"Somtimes, a counterrevolutionary act is necessary to counter a counterrevolutionary act."  - Chin Song


Song:  Miss Chin?  Why in the Peking Opera are women's roles played by men?

Chin:  I don't know.  Maybe, a reactionary remnent of male —

Song:  No [Beat]  Because only a man knows how a woman is supposed to act.


~"Modesty will get you nowhere."  - Chin Song

~"I'm a man who loved a woman created by a man.  Everything else — simply falls short."  - Rene Gallimard

~"Noi siamo gente avvezza / alle piccole cose / umili e si lenzione"  - from Puccini's "Butterfly"

(I come from a people / who are accustomed to little / humble and silent)

Author's Notes/Comments: 

"M. Butterly," a play written by David Henry Hwang.  Extremely fantastic play!

View bluewave's Full Portfolio
Bryan Adam Tomimbang's picture

I should read this...NOT! LOL. - Kevin