Essay 2 - Cory Essay 2 Prompt 2 ENG 201 Societys...

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Cory Essay 2 Prompt 2 ENG 201 Society’s Expectations The world today is a place filled with multitudes of false preconceptions. I think most people would probably like to believe that this isn’t true, but the fact is sweeping generalizations and stereotypes are everywhere in society. Times and people change, but the ideals and expectations of men and women fifty and a hundred years ago aren’t vastly different from those today. From birth, people are subject to certain “scripts” or standards. Expectations come from lots of different directions; from family and friends, the media, as well as school and religion. They tell us what a “true” man is, and what a “real woman should or shouldn’t do. We’re shaped and molded to fit the “scripts” that are forced upon us. It would seem as though most people still adhere to the traditional standards of an antiquated past. Society has a stronghold on what is expected of us, and they don’t seem to be very eager to lose ground. David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly paints a great portrait of the problems and trappings faced by a man who’s blinded by his own false preconceptions of woman. Rene Gallimard, for whom the main focus of Hwang’s play rests, is a man who has been victimized by society’s expectations of men and women. The only way to properly understand why and how society’s expectations influence, not only Gallimard, but men and women everywhere, is to investigate them; where do these expectations come from? Gallimard’s expectation of a “real” woman, the “perfect” woman in fact, was one of subservience; to him, the perfect woman was willing to give up everything for her man. Therein, this woman would offer all of the love she had in the world so long as her man
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would breathe in her general direction from time to time. Above all else, Gallimard wants a woman that is beautiful, but yet submissive and loyal to no one else. For Gallimard, the perfect woman was manifested in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (the namesake to Hwang’s play). “Butterfly” was a beautiful Japanese Geisha being controlled by Pinkerton, a thrill- seeking playboy that was everything Gallimard was not, and everything society dictated a “man” should be. There’s no need to assume how cultural expectations effect Gallimard, he basically comes out and says it in a quote from the first act; “But as she glides past him, beautiful, laughing softly behind her fan, don’t we who are men sigh with hope? - She arrives with all her possessions in the folds of her sleeves, lays them all out, for her man to do with as he pleases. Even her life itself.” (Hwang 10) This is the personification of the “China doll” stereotype.
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Essay 2 - Cory Essay 2 Prompt 2 ENG 201 Societys...

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