M. Butterfly

M. Butterfly - David Henry Hwang Update: I re-read this because we're discussing it in class and I didn't remember it well enough. I liked it a bit more the second time around, and the themes resonated a bit more. If I'm being honest, I think my original review is a bit harsher than my current feelings, but I'm not rewriting it because the general idea still stands.

Disclaimer: I read this play as part of a college literature class, not because I chose it. In fact, I am fairly sure that I would not have chosen it on my own.

Honestly, I don't have a lot I can say about M. Butterfly. While it has intriguing underlying ideas about the oppression of women and the relationship between Eastern and Western cultures, I would be lying if I said I enjoyed it immensely, or got very much out of it at all. Perhaps it's because I am not a fan of bluntly perverted, over-the-top literature in general, or perhaps it's because the characters did absolutely nothing to appeal to me (a requirement for me to truly connect with any story), or because the story itself seemed ridiculously impossible to believe, even if it is inspired by a true story. I am also not a fan of stories which treat women as meaningless and useless objects, even if this is done in the interest of showing the absurd masculine desire for submission. Perhaps, if I were familiar with Madame Butterfly and the themes it presents, I would be more connected to this play on the whole, but alas, I am not, on both counts.

All in all, I would not recommend this to anyone, but I would not turn you away from it, either, if it's something you're already thinking of picking up (or seeing live, I suppose). Most of my negative reactions are based on personal taste, and it's entirely plausible others will have different reactions than I did.