M Butterfly, a franch diplomat named Rene Gallimard has been charged with treason. He had a 20 year affair with an oriental actress, that turned out to be a man that was a spy and he claimed he never knew the true gender of the person he was in love with. The play opens with Gallimard in his prison cell, explaining and justifying himself to the audience “Gallimard: in order for you to understand what I did and why, I must introduce you to my favorite opera: Madame Butterfly.”(Act 1, scene 3) The opera Madame Butterfly is about a feminine ideal Cio-Cio-San also known as Butterfly (Oriental girl) and she is willing to die for the love Pinkerton (Western man). Gallimard sees Pinkerton as a completely mirrored individual. He is, “not very good-looking, not too bright, and pretty much a wimp.”(act 1 sene3), and Pinkerton’s main goal is takeover, in this case the takeover of as many women as possible, with no attachments. Gallimard believes that he has found his butterfly someone that will eat out of his hand and make him feel like a man and desired.
As we see throughout the play Gallimard struggles to measure up to society’s image of a man. In fact he stat that,
“To be honest, I’m not treated like an ordinary prisoner. Why? Because I’m a celebrity. You see, I make people laugh. I never dreamed this day would arrive. I’ve never been considered witty or clever. In fact, as a young boy, in an informal poll among my grammar school classmates, I was voted “least likely to be invited to a party.” It’s a title I managed to hold onto for many years. Despite some stiff competition.”
The fact that his crime involves a spy that was his lover for more than twenty years without him knowing, and that the spy was a man and not a women made him the butt of all the jokes. Now has his moment of fame because everyone knows him for loving a man and not knowing it. His fellow peers feel like a real man would have knew from the start. Gallimard is a weak man who has failed at several important ventures in life. Gallimard is awkward, insecure, and inexperienced in the realm of dating. He refers to his friend Marc who is a ladies man and cries that he cannot be more like his friend. “Gallimard: Marc I cant… im afraid they’ll say no the girls. So I never ask Marc: you don’t have to ask!...its perfect for a guy like you, really. Gallimard: you go ahead… I may come later. Marc: it doesn’t matter that you’re clumsy and got zits”(act 1, scene 5)
Gallimard is now in college and he still does not know how to talk to girls he is intimidated by them so much he does not talk to them at all. In act one, scene eleven Gallimard remembered his first sexual intercourse that Marc arranged a woman named Isabelle climbed on top of Gallimard as he lay in the bushes near a cafeteria. The intercourse was rough and uncomfortable, and the Isabelle assumed a superior position, at least from Gallimard’s viewpoint. This mad the experience less than satisfactory for Gallimard. Gallimard then stated that he got scared that his legs were going to fall off because she was so rough this shows that he lacks the experience to take the dominant position.
Gallimard has a need to feel power in his relationship. To make Song need his love, Gallimard begins to avoid Song, disregarding several letters from her. As we see when Song sends him letters his confidence gets higher with each letter as she becomes more and more shame. His relationship with Song empowers him making him feel more control and blows his confidence up. When Gallimard returns to Song, the relationship becomes sexual, but Song insists on modesty, never taking off her clothes with Gallimard, even though they engage in intimacy. Even as an adult Gallimard is still not able to take control and take off a girl cloths. When Gallimard finally demands to see Song naked, Song